PHP Accreditation Program Launches Web-Based Survey Tool


OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. and WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Partnership for Human Research Protection, Inc. (PHRP) announces the online launch of its new survey tool. PHRP seeks to protect the safety and rights of participants in human research studies in the United States and abroad.

PHRP debuts on the industry's first online accreditation platform, the Interactive Survey System (ISS). Eight research organizations and independent review boards have committed to participate in the PHRP accreditation program. The survey process begins when the organization submits its survey tool over the Web.

"There are advantages to having a Web-based survey process that you just can't get with paper," said Esther Emard, chief operating officer, PHRP. "The survey tool provides instant feedback, scans for errors or omissions, and eliminates the waste of time involved in finding and moving hard copy documents from one place to another."

Organizations seeking accreditation by the PHRP, a collaboration between the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), will use the ISS to document their compliance with standards and submit that documentation for review. The ISS enables participating organizations to conduct a full readiness evaluation prior to their actual survey. The ISS also takes advantage of Web functionality and facilitates the compilation of data, the tracking of changes and communication with survey team members.

"The ISS will help organizations be prepared to meet the challenges of PHRP accreditation, and that, in turn, will benefit human research subjects," says Karen H. Timmons, chief executive officer, PHRP. "We are extremely pleased to begin the first phase of this groundbreaking accreditation project."

PHRP surveys will occur in two stages. The first portion begins when an organization submits a completed survey tool via the Web. The accreditation process involves an off-site review of the evaluation results and supporting documentation. The second portion consists of an on-site review, during which a team of PHRP surveyors will further validate performance against the standards.

PHRP provides a national set of standards and a voluntary oversight process that creates a credible, objective framework for ensuring that processes are in place to inform and protect the thousands of volunteer human subjects who participate in research activities every year. The rapid expansion of medical research, drug trials and other studies involving human subjects has increased demand to ensure that studies' risks and benefits are thoroughly weighed, that volunteers are properly informed, that adverse events are carefully monitored, and that research risks are minimized. Both the federal Office of Human Research Protections and the Food and Drug Administration have supported private accreditation -- such as the new PHRP Accreditation Program -- as a critical component of an overall national strategy to better protect human research participants and promote greater accountability.

Source: JCAHO

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