What methods or protocols do you have to manage multicentre studies?


To manage our regional projects we use a mixture of circular emails, phone conferences, group meetings and (most importantly) an internet base project management system (Basecamp). This piece of software acts as a platform that can be used by all members to openly discuss each project and to upload documents for general use. We also use other internet software / survey systems (Surveymonkey / esurv) to centralise data after each project and internet storage solutions (Dropbox) to store key documents that can then be accessed by all relevant parties at different sites.

To maintain standards when it comes to each regional project, we have recently developed a 'Regional Lead Project Management Checklist' and a 'Local Trust Lead Project Management Checklist'. These two checklists are part of our 'Local Trust Lead Induction Pack' and are to be used by both the regional and local leads respectively to ensure that all the correct steps that are needed to run a successful project are completed. This documentation is important to both maintain standards between projects (where each project may potentially be run by trainees without prior experience) and to improve recruitment rates / trust compliance with each successive project as our experience grows.

Each project run by SWARM is exposed to a feedback process whereby regional leads are asked to collate feedback from the local trust leads to gather information on project selection, methodology and management performance. This goes hand-in hand with collecting the 'Trainee Project Contribution' lists that are displayed on our website to advertise / prove who did what for each study.


As we're just getting established, we're meeting monthly and discussing ongoing projects. We've trialled the online project management Basecamp, used by SWARM, for our recent audit and have found it very useful for acting as a focal point for project information, documentation and discussion. The TRAIN committee have a circular Google group email for group messages.