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Pulmonary Hypertension Association

IMPACT: 

Using COI-SMART, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA):

  • Eliminated the administrative burden of their existing manual conflict of interest management process.
  • Established an automated, online system for conflict-of-interest management.
  • Created greater efficiency for the required tasks of collecting and organizing conflict of interest information.
  • Enabled physicians, employees, and volunteers to actively use the system within just one month.
  • Achieved established goals for transparency and disclosure to avoid any perceptions of outside influence about provider decisions.

THE CHALLENGE: 

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is a 501(C)(3) public charity based in Silver Spring, Maryland, with a more than 25-year history of providing programs and services to all individuals impacted by pulmonary vascular disease. From simple beginnings – four women who met around a kitchen table in Florida in 1990 – PHA has evolved into a community of more than 16,000 patients, caregivers, family members, and health care professionals.

The PHA mission is to extend and improve the lives of those affected by pulmonary hypertension (PH) and their vision is a world without PH, empowered by hope.

Four of PHA’s key focus areas are: advocate for the PH community, catalyze research for a cure, empower patients and caregivers; and promote quality patient care. These top priorities are shared by all PHA stakeholders.

Broadly, PHA provides programs to the patient community by providing administrative support to more than 280 support groups nationally; developing and disseminating awareness materials, education and coping information to the lay community; conducting advocacy on a local, state and federal level; and bringing together the PH community by conducting regional symposia and a biennial international conference that attracts more than 1,600 global attendees. For the medical community, PHA provides professional networking opportunities by organizing two membership networks, PH Clinicians and Researchers and the PH Professional Network; distributes a quarterly medical journal, Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension, to more than 40,000 global clinicians; promotes collaborative research opportunities through historical partnerships with the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and the Foundation of the American Thoracic Society; and offers a number of CME/CE opportunities for members of the multi-disciplinary team required to manage patients with the rare, complex, progressive disease that is PH.

Prior to implementing COI-SMART, PHA used a manual system for conflict of interest management based on paper forms that were collected in-person and by email and fax. It relied on manual data entry which was a cumbersome process to manage. PHA needed an electronic solution for the collection of conflict of interest data for the organization’s leaders and members of its many committees. PHA also needed a way to download a comprehensive report that compiled all of that information to post on the Accountability section of the organization’s website, which would eliminate several hours of paper shuffling and manual data entry.

COI-SMART provided the electronic solution we were looking for to alleviate a lot of administrative burden and streamline a detailed process. Rather than summarizing each individual’s COI disclosures and typing a brief summary for each on our website, with COISMART, we were able to customize a report that compiles all of that information swiftly, eliminating more administrative burden.
– Rebecca Aune, Associate Director of Medical Services

 

SOLUTION: 

When PHA began looking for a solution to their conflict of interest management issues, they discovered COI-SMART to be a recognized name in the industry—one that was already in use by several of the academic institutions with whom they partner. Rebecca Aune, Associate Director of Medical Services, shared that ”COI-SMART provided the electronic solution we were looking for to alleviate a lot of administrative burden and streamline a detailed process. Rather than summarizing each individual’s COI disclosures and typing a brief summary for each on our website, with COI-SMART, we were able to customize a report that compiles all of that information swiftly, eliminating more administrative burden.”

The system was deployed quickly and is working well. Aune reports that “Our volunteer leaders, committee members, and faculty all seem to be able to follow our instructions to login and take care of their disclosures. We feel as though the efficiency was our main priority, and that has been achieved.”

RESULTS:

When asked to describe the impact on PHA, Aune shared that “COI-SMART provided an efficient, user-friendly platform to collect and organize conflict of interest information for the many committees, faculty, and volunteers engaged with PHA’s programming. Additionally, the platform provides a simple solution to download summaries of conflict of interest information for each individual in a format that we could share with the public on our website and in our continuing education programs, alleviating administrative burden.”

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