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Office of Research & Development

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VAIRRS Ambassador Program

In each issue of the VAIRRS Newsletter (every other month), a leading site utilizing the VAIRRS program is selected as a VAIRRS Ambassador. Facilities are evaluated based on participation, enthusiasm and commitment to improving the system and contributing to the benefits the VAIRRS enterprise has to offer. The selected VAIRRS ambassador serves as a great role model to other sites across the country, who want to learn more about VAIRRS and how the program can make their job more efficient and effective.


VAIRRS Ambassadors

VAIRRS Experience:

VA Pittsburgh converted to VAIRRS in March 2021. Project investigators and coordinators were required to attend training before submitting any packages or projects. Each review committee received training specific to local practices and their workflow.

The experience has been different for each committee. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) previously utilized a SmartForm-based program. As part of the transition, researchers were required to submit a package that included the wizards, staff form, data collection forms and any participant-facing materials. The greatest challenge for users was adapting from SmartForms to wizards and paper forms.

The experience from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) was very different as researchers had to transition from emailing paper study documents to uploading them into the system, as well as the introduction of the wizards. Additionally, committee members had to become more proactive in accessing the projects by completing reviews and participating in general meetings.

Through continued use of the system, VA Pittsburgh learned to identify common errors and how best to address them. Reviewing new projects has enabled VA Pittsburgh to become more comfortable with the system and advise their research community. 

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Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.