On February 1, 2019, a streamlined approach for obtaining operational approval to conduct research within the Saskatchewan Health Authority will go live.
“This marks a significant improvement over our current system which requires researchers to complete multiple applications and wade through multiple layers of internal review if their research involves more than one site, city or community” said Dr. Elan Paluck, Saskatchewan Health Authority’s (SHA) Director of Research. “In addition to a simplified application form, the new process is online and will only require one submission from researchers, regardless of the number of SHA sites involved.”
Research studies that require access to SHA resources or patients, including their personal health information, must obtain two types of approval: research ethics approval and operational approval.
Research ethics approval is obtained from one of the province’s recognized Research Ethics Boards (University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, or the SHA Board). This process ensures that the proposed study is scientifically valid, ethically sound, compliant with legislation, and most importantly, minimizes risks to patients and participants.
Operational approval provides assurance that the research can be carried out safely by the impacted SHA departments, within their current workload, and when possible, provides a mechanism for the SHA to recapture the direct costs of supporting the research in a manner that is fair and transparent to researchers. Under the new process, the vetting of the operational approval application to the appropriate departmental signatory will be coordinated internally by the SHA research department.
Studies may not begin until approval from both processes has been obtained and a letter giving authorization to conduct research in the SHA has been issued.
“We are excited for the new process and thank the many members of the SHA Operational Approval Working Group,” says Paluck.
For more information, contact Shawna Weeks in Saskatoon or
Jenny Wang in Regina.