MacColl Business Manager Sherry Lee Lauf talks about streamlining research administration processes

Getting big data
The rise of comparative effectiveness research (CER) has fuelled the need for large data sets.  Multi-institutional collaborations are a prime source for these , but coordinating administrative and regulatory requirements can be time-consuming and burdensome.  Obtaining Institutional Review Board approval and executing subcontracts and data sharing agreements are just a few of the many tasks that need to be completed before multi-site scientific work can start. Organized approaches can help project teams move more quickly into the heart of research instead of getting stuck in delays.

The MacColl Center has been involved in multi-site projects for decades, including the Cancer Research Network, a project that arose out of the HMO Research Network (HMORN) established by Ed Wagner and others in 1996. Business Manager Sherry Lee Lauf is co-author of a new article that delves into three case studies where standardized approaches and HMORN administrative tools accelerated these required processes .

Innovative through and through
The MacColl Center publishes papers and creates transformation models, and our researchers have given countless speeches around the world.   Creativity doesn’t stop with principal investigators and research associates:  innovation is central to the work of our whole team. 

“People who do what I do don’t often publish papers”, Sherry Lee says.  “We have an expression here - keep the trains running on time - and that's what grant and project managers are usually so busy doing. In 2012, Group Health Research Institute hosted the HMORN Conference, providing the chance to get together with colleagues and present the successful processes and approaches we’d developed for the Network's multi-site projects. I knew our approach to subcontracting was unique, and I wanted to collect real-world data to reveal the benefits of using HMORN tools. Our presentation then led to an invitation to write the manuscript with HMORN colleagues."

Keeping up with regulations
The novel approaches described in these case studies accelerated these required processes and approvals while maintaining regulatory, human subjects, and institutional protections.  eGEMs is a free,open access, peer-reviewed publication produced by AcademyHealth's Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum that shares innovative approaches to using electronic clinical data for health research and quality improvement. 

About the HMORN
The HMO Research Network includes 18 research centers, each associated with a health care delivery system. Researchers at the centers collaborate on multi-site studies in real-world health care settings across the United States and in Israel. With access to information on more than 15 million ethnically and geographically diverse patients, the HMORN can draw conclusions about how best to care for both common and rare health concerns. 

  • Read "Accelerating Regulatory Progress in Multi-Institutional Research" [Link]
  • Download HMORN tools, including the Subaward Agreement Template described above [Link]

About Sherry Lee Lauf:  For the past 30 years, Sherry Lauf has worked as an administrative professional at Group Health. After working as a grant manager for Group Health Research Institute for several years, she was hired as the MacColl Center Business Manager in 2001.   An accomplished painter, Sherry also enjoys raising chickens, open-water swimming and sailing on Lake Washington.


Event Date: 
Mon, 09/08/2014