Research Spotlight: Hospital departments involved in clinical trials

Members of the Medical Imaging team

North York General Hospital (NYGH) recently celebrated International Clinical Trials Day. Clinical trials are research investigations in which people volunteer to assess treatments, interventions or tests. These trials are carried out for several reasons, to assess new treatments for patients, to discover how to prevent or diagnose a disease, to learn how an illness affects a person’s life and to provide information about a disease. Currently, at NYGH there are 32 ongoing clinical trials/research studies, aiming to transform care through applied research and innovation. For these trials to run smoothly they require input and expertise from multiple different stakeholders and departments. Without the hard work and dedication of the different departments here at NYGH the important work achieved through clinical trials would not come to fruition. The following are just some of those contributing their time and efforts to clinical trials:

  • Chemotherapy Unit
  • Critical Care Unit
  • Inpatient Pharmacy
  • Lab Professionals and Clerical Staff
  • Neurology
  • Paediatric Unit
  • Plastics
  • Radiology and Imaging Department
  • Research Ethics Board
  • Respiratory Therapists

We spoke with some of our contributors to find out a bit more about what they do and to ask why it is important to them to be involved.

Chemotherapy Unit

How do you contribute to research and clinical trials?

We ensure all staff are well educated and versed with protocols being administered; thus, providing safe and effective in-service care. This care extends into the community where we manage patients’ symptoms and decrease the need for emergency department and hospital visits. We work closely with multiple departments to keep the lines of communication between moderators/clinical trials team, nurses, pharmacy and patient open.

Chemotherapy Unit team members
Chemotherapy Unit team members

Chemotherapy Unit Team, North York General Hospital

Lab professionals and clerical staff

How do you contribute to research and clinical trials?

We are part of the team that carefully prepare the patient samples required for clinical trials. This can be a lengthy and very detailed process. Every clinical trial has different specifications on how the samples are to be prepared so we must be diligent and accurate to ensure the proper preservation of the samples, and we do this all in a very timely manner.

What do you value about conducting research and clinical trials?

We value being part of a team that contributes to research that may improve patient care and acquisition of medical knowledge. It is satisfying to know that our part in the research and clinical trials is assisting the patients towards a better health outcome, the care givers in choosing an improved treatment and preventing the development and recurrence of the disease.

Members of the Laboratory Medicine Team
Members of the Laboratory Medicine team

Lab professionals and clerical staff, North York General Hospital

Critical Care Unit and Respiratory Therapy team

How do you contribute to research and clinical trials?

Respiratory therapy is involved in clinical research activities in the Critical Care Unit. As part of an interprofessional team, Respiratory Therapists participated in an observational multi-centred international study, the WEANSAFE Study. Additionally, respiratory therapy is participating in an international randomized control trial, the PROMIZING Study. These studies examine current practices for weaning critically ill patients with respiratory failure from mechanical ventilation.

What do you value about conducting research and clinical trials?

Participation in research and clinical trials allows the Respiratory Therapy team to align with one of NYGH’s strategies, transform care through applied research and innovation. This allows us to examine clinical practice, identify potential gaps to effective care and implement quality improvement interventions to better patient outcomes. Participation in research also allows us to partner with other institutions and contribute as an organization to evidence-based best practices in critical care medicine.

Critical Care Unit and Respiratory Therapy team members

Critical Care Unit and Respiratory Therapy team, North York General Hospital

Inpatient Pharmacy

How do you contribute to research and clinical trials?

We contribute in various ways, we review the protocol and provide pharmacy perspective to determine feasibility, and determine system needs to support the study. We interact with multiple stakeholders like the study coordinator to design a detailed process for each step of the trial and with the computerized physician order entry (CPOE) team if a power plan is needed. We maintain clear documentation and accountability of trial medication/supplies throughout the process, from receiving to destruction, ensuring safe storage, accurate and timely dispensing/preparation in accordance with protocol stipulations.

What do you value about conducting research and clinical trials?

Working as a team to design details of the study flow and utilization of our detailed-oriented, accuracy and precision skills. We value the opportunity to learn about novel treatments and indications and support the development of potential new evidence-based practices or novel treatments to benefit overall care of patients.

Inpatient Pharmacy team members

Inpatient Pharmacy team, North York General Hospital

Radiology and Medical Imaging

How do you contribute to research and clinical trials?

Some radiologists are co-investigators for active clinical trials. The radiologists also support the ongoing NYGH research studies by providing subspecialized interpretations for study CT and MRI scans, using RECIST and other specific reporting criteria.

What do you value about conducting research and clinical trials?

Clinical research contributes invaluable information about the benefits and safety of existing and new treatments. We know that accurate interpretation of imaging studies is critically important to individual patient care, and to the research endeavors in general.

Medical Imaging team members
Members of the Medical Imaging team

Radiology and Medical Imaging team, North York General Hospital 

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