Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is an academic hospital located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the largest trauma centre in Canada.
At any given time, Sunnybrook has approximately 1,900 active studies, with around 500 new submissions each year. Sunnybrook’s REB (Research Ethics Board) provides ethical oversight for the majority of these studies, for annual reviews and for reportable events throughout the year.
The types of studies carried out at Sunnybrook include:
- Clinical trials (Phase 1, 2, 3, 4) • Qualitative studies and case studies
- Human tissue and biological specimens
- Epidemiological / Database
With a paper-based model for its ethics review process, Sunnybrook’s main challenge was the large volumes of paper files stored both on-site and in archive facilities. For example, full board submissions took around one month and required 30 copies of the application forms and submission documents.
Sunnybrook wanted a digital ethics review and management process that allowed them to coordinate application forms and signatures electronically, as well as to record audit trails and reduce paper and storage costs. The solution needed to be online, user-friendly and easily configurable.