The Aurum Data Management department was established to drive all the activities and tasks in preparation for, and handling the processing and archiving of data. The aim of the data management department is to turn all information collected from various sources, efficiently and without errors, into that which can be analysed and reported on. We are the link between the people who collect the data and the people who analyse, interpret and report on the data.
Who We Are
The Aurum Institute Data Management department is managed by Ms Trisha Crawford – Technical Director: Data Management. In order to support the Aurum South African region the team is divided into two areas:
The Operational Teams consist of Divisional Technical Data Managers, Data Managers, Data Monitors, Data Coordinators, Data Capturers and Filing Clerks. They are placed into the specific division within Aurum and they are accountable for delivering on all the data management activities for that division.
The Technical team forms part of the directorate for data management and consist of Technical Advisors, Technical Data Managers, Data Managers, Data Analysts, Data Coordinators, Data Capturers, Filing Clerks and Software Team. This core team is responsible for developing the tools and systems required for data management across the organisation.
Ms Trisha Crawford - Technical Director: Data Management
Prior to joining Aurum, Trisha worked for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in the clinical research department. During this time she managed to the data management processes for many clinical drug trials within various therapeutic areas including speciality, respiratory, cardiovascular, central nervous systems and gastrointestinal. She also participated in a global forum for the implementation of electronic data capture tools management.
What We Do
CORE TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION
The data management technical division is responsible for developing the data management systems required to be used within each operational division. The activities range from CRF Development, Application design and development, Data Validation, Quality Assessments, Training, Analysis and reporting. The team consists of Technical Experts in Health Programs, Research, Training and Reporting.
The team is supported by a software team which is provided by Bytes Systems Integration and consists of Database Administrators, Software Developers, Business Analysts and Project Managers.
Most of the team members have over 8 years’ experience in either Health Programs or Research.
Some of the systems built or implemented by the Data Management department:
- Thibela TB: A patient management system was built using PhaseForward Inform 4.5 to manage 30 000 mine workers on IPT for 9 months.
- HCT Mobile Application
- Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision System: An electronic data management system to ensure the smooth flow of clients from out in the community, to the clinic and through the entire clinical procedure which includes pre-medical screening, counselling, surgery, discharge and follow-up visits. The following electronic systems were developed:
- HCT web-based application to be used in the community
- HCT offline application using android devices
- Electronic Booking System
- Electronic Clinic Patient Management System (Built-in functionality to scan in ID/ Passport/ Consent forms)
- Electronic Automated Reporting System
- Electronic Adverse Event Management System
- Community Demand Generation
- Training Database
- CRaFT System: A web-enabled system was developed that ensures accurate collection of participant registration data, real-time tracking, processing of study data and timeous query generation and resolution. The CRaFT system has the following functionalities:
- Collection of locator information
- Assigning studies and applicable forms to eligible participants
- Electronic tracking of CRFs / source documents
- Electronic query management
- Queries are sent via email from CRaFT
- Electronic Reporting System
- Outstanding queries
- Missing overdue forms
- Data extracts
PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION
The Data Management department supports the following grants within this division:
Comprehensive HIV & TB Prevention, Care and Treatment Systems Strengthening in Facilities of South Africa’s Department of Justice and Correctional Services (DCS) under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
The grant was awarded and started in March 2014 with the intention of supporting and strengthening HIV and TB services in facilities of the South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services (DCS) over a five-year programme. As the Principal Recipient (PR) Aurum is responsible for overseeing the relationship with the Funder, the National DCS and for providing technical oversight to the sub-partners of the grant. Implementation is divided equally between Aurum and two Sub-recipients, Right to Care (RTC) and TB-HIV Care Association (THCA). The project goal is to support and build the capacity of health facilities serving DCS inmates to provide comprehensive HIV and TB prevention, care, and treatment services to detained persons at DCS facilities throughout South Africa.
The Aurum Data Management department supports the DCS in the implementation and support of health information systems (specifically on the ART Tiered Implementation Strategy and TB Data Collection tools) in over 64 sites in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West. In addition, the team collects data and provides technical support to the other partners which include a total of 242 DCS facilities in South Africa. All the data is analysed and used for reporting purposes to both the funders as well as the DCS to improve on the HIV and TB programs.
CLINICAL RESEARCH DIVISION
The Clinical Research Division is spread across 4 sites in different geographical areas: Tembisa, Klerksdorp, Rustenburg and Welkom. Each of these research sites has a dedicated data management team who supports all the data management activities across all studies being conducted. The sites are equipped to run multiple studies concurrently using the latest technology for the collection and validation of data.
The CRaFT system has been implemented successfully at all Research sites and has greatly improved the time utilised for CRF tracking, query resolution, participant follow-up and retention.
IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE DIVISION
The Implementation Research Division is responsible for researching new interventions and also implementing these interventions in the real world. Using the eCOS web-based platform will allow the IR department to expand its reach in southern Africa in the world, bringing research groups together to execute and analyse new therapies and practices.
In 2015, Aurum partnered with Merge eClinical OS (eCOS), a software platform designed by Merge Healthcare’s eClinical division. It is a single platform to design, deploy, and manage data for clinical trials using electronic data capture. Merge eClinical will allow Aurum to capture data and resolve errors all on-site, reducing paper and shortening the time to study reporting and analysis. Because the platform is web-based, it can also support Aurum research collaborations in other countries as well.
HEALTH SYSTEMS DIVISION
An operational team consisting of Data Managers, Data Monitors and Data Capturers conduct health system strengthening on 3 Districts on all health Information management tools implemented by the National Department of health. These range from:
- Implementation of the District Health Information Management policy which includes detailed data flow plans.
- TB and HIV Paper Registers and other data collection tools required for reporting purposes.
- Implementation of sound filing and archiving system.
- Conduct training on the effective use of facility registers and data collection tools. Teams conduct Audits on completeness of paper registers and assist facilities with the filling of gaps.
- Implementation of TIER.net in over 500 facilities and hospitals. The operational data team were involved in the roll out of the TIER.NET ART and PRE ART modules and have continued to support facilities after sign off. The teams train and mentor clinical and health information staff on the use of data to improve quality, patient management and for measurement of program performance. Projects to improve performance, informed by the data produced by the facility, have been initiated and successfully conducted such projects include: Cohort analysis, viral load uptake, linkage into care, retention into care, return into the care of patients previously lost and use of patient management reports in TIER.net. Other programs supported by data from TIER.net include the WHO early warning indicators and the advanced clinical care program.
- Teams on a quarterly basis support and conduct the prescribed national department of health ART data clean ups and data audits before submission of ART quarterly data.
- The national department of health, supported by the Aurum data management team, successfully conducted a learning implementation on the TB TIER.net module in 3 Ekurhuleni district facilities. The focus of the learning implementation was testing new versions and change management in the soon to be nationally rolled out TB/HIV integration.
- The data team through its data systems support specialist provide ICT support and trained data management specific to TIER.NET to the facilities activities include troubleshooting, reinstallations, linking PCs, antivirus installation and update.
- Assisted all Aurum supported districts in the roll out of daily data capturing at facility level the teams are actively involved in the support of data capturers that are capturing data through mentoring.
- The data team is involved in the management development program. It assisted in the development of tools and continues to assist in the training of facility and program managers on the health information module which is designed to help participants understand concepts of data and factors influencing the quality of data.
- Data reviews and feedback sessions at sub-district and district level in data reviews conducted by the Department of health.
Knowledge Management At Aurum
The continuous converting of data to information, to knowledge – to wisdom.
Knowledge management is a business discipline that examines how an organisations stores, retrieves, disseminates, constructs and leverages its knowledge on a continuous basis. The primary objective of knowledge management is to enable knowledge transfer methods that construct, disseminate and embed various knowledge types to inform decision-making and problem-solving activities. This enables the organisation to become more productive, profitable, innovative and competitive.
Managing knowledge via people, process, technology and content?
People advance knowledge through interpreting their work milieu and making sense of it, acting on information and learning from experiences. The construction, distribution and entrenchment of knowledge relates to a transfer of knowledge from tacit, to explicit. With the aid of technology, this process ensures that knowledge can be recorded, documented, stored and retrieved.
So how do we at the Aurum Institute do this?
At Aurum, knowledge is located primarily within its staff and organisational connections, work tools, responsibilities, systems and processes as well as external communities. Sharing and using this knowledge and experience enables Aurum to achieve its goals. In order to guide and organise Aurum’s knowledge management initiatives, a knowledge management strategy has been developed whereby initial and immediate KM projects are being identified and implemented, these include:
- Hiring a knowledge management specialist
- Sensitising Aurum toward the KM concepts
- Managing vital Aurum explicit knowledge content i.e. Aurum’s records and documents through bespoke records and documents management systems
- Enhancing collaboration between staff by using SharePoint as a collaboration platform (breaking the silo effect)
- Creating an Aurum “yellow pages” whereby all staff contact details are captured as well as the areas of expertise and academic qualifications, past and current projects
Future KM projects would focus on more tacit aspects of KM such as Communities of Practice (CoP’s) lessons learnt (learning from projects), after action reviews, training from lessons learnt, succession planning, debriefing exercises, recording processes at Aurum (SOP’s) and becoming ISO 9001 compliant.