The National Institute for Health Research has launched a local portfolio management system framework to help manage research studies for researchers and NHS trusts.

From April 2014, 15 hosts around the UK supporting the research networks are contractually obliged to provide an IT system to support clinical research.

Richard Corbridge, chief information officer at the NIHR clinical research network, told EHI that the ‘Local Portfolio Management System, Systems of Choice’, or LPMS SoC for short, aims to get rid of silos and support the research journey from beginning to end by an information system.

“Instead of having all the research networks on a different system, what we’ve done is create a framework and put that out to providers already in the market,” he said.

“There are around 12 different suppliers in the marketplace and [the framework] sets a technical standard. It also sets a data quality standard and sets a service management standard and an integration standard.”

Corbridge explained that previously, like most of the NHS, the research field has been burdened with systems that do not talk to each other, meaning it could take 100 days to get permission for research. This has been cut down to 25 days.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve gone from silo systems to implementing four or five systems that actually talk to each other. The goal is to give the NHS as many tools as we can,” said Corbridge.

“Some systems are built in-house and some are procured. All of the systems are about supporting the management of clinical research in the NHS.”

The LPMS will integrate with the central portfolio management system from Tribal Education, which goes live early this year. The central system enables real time data to be collected on recruitment, resources and the content of research.

Corbridge hopes the integration will increase real-time research activity data both at national and local level.

His team has also recently created an open data platform app, built on QlikView technology, which links different data sets across the UK.

The tool allows the directors of the clinical research organisations to look at data collected across the network and take advantage of the data, said Corbridge.

“What the open data platform app does, it allows you to create apps to expose what’s going on. For the first time we will have real time data on research going on in the UK."

Corbridge added that future plans include thinking about giving patients access to see if they want to be part of a trial.