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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Quality Assurance in research?

There is a system of checks and balances in place for the conduct of clinical research. Regulations and guidelines make up part of this system. Quality assurance (QA) professionals use these tools as they conduct audits to assess compliance with Good Clinical Practice (GCP).


As a Clinical Investigator, do you need to be compliant with HIPAA?

As a Clinical Investigator you need to ensure that you obtain proper authorization from the patient/subject entering a research protocol to use his/her PHI for research. This authorization must be obtained by you from all research subjects who are enrolled into clinical trials. For your ongoing studies under the approval of the IRB, you must use the IRB’s approved authorization form, or your authorization must be submitted to the IRB for review and be approved prior to its use.


What protocol deviations or violations are required to be reported?

Protocol deviations or violations that either increase the risk to subjects or affect the integrity of the study data must be reported to the IRB. IRBs deem any deviation/violation from the protocol that increases the risk to subjects or affects the integrity of the study data to be significant. An isolated issue may not be significant by itself but significance may increase with numerous deviations of the same nature. Significant deviations may be events such as: enrollment of subjects who did not meet inclusion/exclusion criteria, use of the wrong informed consent document, or failure to perform appropriate procedures at a study visit.


What are the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator?

The principal investigator is responsible for personally conducting or supervising the conduct of human-subjects research and for protecting the rights, safety, and welfare of the subjects enrolled in the research. The PI must ensure that all human-subjects research is conducted in an ethical manner and in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, institutional policies, and requirements


Are there any groups of subjects that need special consideration when planning study recruitment strategies?

Yes, these are “vulnerable populations”, or special classes of subjects that require special consideration for inclusion in a study.

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