To IRB or Not To IRB

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:20 AM

Margaret (Peggy) Gound, DNP, APRN-NP, BC
Patient Care, VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, Omaha, NE
Gale M. Etherton Etherton, MD
Quality, VA NWIHCS, Omaha, NE

Learning Objective 1: understand the significance of generalizable knowledge

Learning Objective 2: describe the difference between research and non-research(evidence-based practice, quality improvement) activities.

Background: Quality Improvement is a mandate embraced by healthcare facilities to improve patient outcomes. The ability to correctly classify activities as research or non-research (quality improvement and evidence-based practice) is paramount to the protection of human subjects.

Purpose: To develop a Non-Research Determination process that will assist staff to determine if their project is research or non-research and to develop a registry to track non-research activities.

Project: At the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, a Non-Research Determination Process was developed that is user friendly, electronic in format and consistent with current literature. The process mimics the current Institutional Review Board (IRB) review process with initial and continuing review application. A registry is populated via the electronic submission of the review forms. The registry automatically prompts the need for continuing review of a submitted project and allows searching particular topics that have been entered into the registry. The online process went live in March 2012.

Outcome:  This process was piloted for six months and received unanimous approval of the IRB for its continuance.

Implications: This system design project addresses the need for oversight and tracking of continuous quality improvement and evidence based practice projects.