Just about everyone in the research, science, or medical fields understands the need and benefits of a clinical collaboration platform. Less understood, however, is what that actually entails. What are the key components of any collaboration platform or tool? Here are a few thoughts on the issue regarding what a successful clinical collaboration system must have.

Documented Workflows and Workflow Tools

Every clinical collaboration effort requires multiple workflows to integrate and work flawlessly together. Daily, programmatic work requires multiple parties completing multiple tasks, which requires a high degree of communication via email, in person, over the phone and on various online message vehicles. Because there are so many components that have to function at once, getting a prompt response to a communication can sometimes prove difficult.

A documented workflow in a clinical collaboration platform allows for the tracking of those tasks and where each one is in the process. It also shows where tasks or information needs have broken down. That allows troubleshooting of those tasks and workflow steps to pinpoint a solution to expedite work. Not having this workflow documented means everyone in the process has part of the picture but has no idea where their role fits in or where the process currently is in the overall trial system.

Centralized Information Portal

The exchange of information is critical to a successful clinical collaboration effort and the development of clinical collaboration tools. That information cannot, however, come from multiple venues, sources or individual entities. In order to understand how it all works together, a centralized system is needed to keep data organized and to allow access for everyone involved in a timely manner. To achieve that, a centralized information system has to be developed that lets everyone with the proper access rights who is involved in the collaboration effort share information quickly and seamlessly.


The clinical trial process is an evolving system that can be influenced by multiple internal and external partners. A well-meant, but errant piece of legislation in Europe, for example, can upend a trial process, set it back or even kill it. An unforeseen consequence can completely change the nature of the trial and its scope. A talented researcher moving on to another opportunity can delay a trial process, causing subsequent delays down the line. Even a simple system maintenance update can knock people off schedules or cause delays.

An alert system addresses at least the warning aspect of addressing those issues. Staff who know a challenge is looming or present can adapt. That can keep the workflow of a trial moving.

There are multiple elements to any successful clinical collaboration platform. These are some of the most important because without them, instant delays are not only possible, but likely. By ensuring the clinical collaboration system you invest in covers these, you will at least be able to rest assured your team is all on the same page.

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