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VA Moves Research Workload to New Unified Platform

New research platform

VA Moves Research Workload to New Unified Platform

The Department of Veterans Affairs said its Office of Research and Development has transitioned its work to a new unified research platform

ORD moved 105 VA medical centers with research programs and its Central Institutional Review Board to the new commercially available IRBNet platform to streamline research efforts, VA said Monday.

Molly Klote, director of the Office of Research Protections, Policy and Education, said IRBNet will improve the implementation of multi-site clinical trials, which is the main purpose of VA’s Central IRB.

“This enterprise approach will decrease the need for national data calls and will enable the Office of Research and Development to have an ‘air traffic control board’ to see where studies, by topic, are happening across the system,” Klote added.

IRBNet serves as the single authoritative source of data gathered from clinical trials and research efforts conducted nationwide at any point in time, the department said.

More than 10,000 veterans participated in clinical trials at more than 70 VAMCs in fiscal year 2020. They contributed to research in coronavirus, cancer, diabetes and heart disease, among others.

VA said the transition also reduces regulatory risk, eases policy implementation, decreases the administrative burden on local research offices and improves transparency for research committee members and other staff.

The department said it is using a version of IRBNet known as the VA Innovation and Research Review System. VAIRRS is an enterprise platform designed to support the management of VA research oversight committees. 

ORD said VAIRRS is ready for the changing pressures of its research requirements. It also supports the collaborative needs of dually appointed Veterans Health Administration investigators.

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