CATS Safety Development Updates

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CATS Safety will provide investigators, staff and committee members with a streamlined, integrated and more user-friendly process and system for managing the submission, review and approval of biosafety protocols.  CATS Safety is the third of four systems being released as part of the overall PRAMS replacement project, also known as the CATS project.

Project Timeline

Fall 2020

  • Completion of final system and process development 
  • Key User Group (KUG) testing to begin 

    • KUG participants will conduct researcher and reviewer usability testing on a demo site
  • Training and Education roll-out 

 

Spring 2021

  • Phase 1 Pilot Go-Live 

    • Pilot participants were a small subgroup of researchers submitting actual biosafety protocols in CATS Safety
    • Development phase continued to manage pilot feedback
    • Training and Education roll-out to committee members

Fall 2021

  • Phase 2 Pilot Go-Live

    • Pilot expanded to include another small subgroup of researchers submitting biosafety protocols in CATS Safety, with a diverse research focus
    • Development phase continuing to manage pilot feedback
    • Training and Education roll-out to ancillary reviewers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring 2022

  • Full Go-Live

    • IBC programs will reach out to individual PIs to transition existing protocols to CATS Safety  
    • New protocols will be entered in CATS Safety

 

 

  • Dec. 15, 2021: RQA (Research Quality Assurance) Quarterly Workshop (College of Medicine)

 

CATS Safety development is governed by multiple collaborative teams at various levels within the University each serving a different but related purpose. The teams implementing the work have been charged with transforming processes and systems in the transition. 

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The roles and members of each team are: 

  • Executive Committee - To guide the strategic direction of research administration system development and remove high-level blockers 

    • Members Include: 

      • Katie Bode-Lang. EQUIP Director, Office for Research Protections
      • Wilson Diaz, Interim Director, Office of Research Information Systems, University Park
      • Jim Taylor, Associate Chief Information Officer for Research, University Park 
      • Debra Thurley, Assistant Vice President for Research, Office for Research Protections, University Park 
      • Sheila Vrana, Associate Dean for Research, Office of Research Affairs, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine 
      • Candy Yekel, Associate Vice President of Research and Director of the Office for Research Protections, Office for Research Protections, University Park 
      • Laura Young, Assistant Director, Office of Research Information Systems, University Park

 

  • Safety Module Advisory Committee - To serve as subject matter experts to the development teams and to champion the systems with researchers and staff 

    • Members include: 

      • Justin Arthur, Assistant Biosafety Officer, Research Quality Assurance, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine 
      • Beata Clapp, Senior Biosafety Officer, Environmental Health and Safety, University Park 
      • Jim Crandall, Director, Environmental Health and Safety, University Park 
      • Viola Devine, Research Compliance Specialist, Research Quality Assurance, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine 
      • Jeff Dodds, Animal Resource Program & IACUC Veterinarian Instructor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University Park 
      • Jeff Neighbors, Associate Professor, Pharmacology, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine 
      • Rachel Panas, Research Compliance Specialist, Research Quality Assurance, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine 
      • Jeff Peters, Distinguished Professor of Molecular Toxicology & Carcinogenesis, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University Park 
      • Ray Scheetz, Biosafety Officer, Research Quality Assurance, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine 
      • Tyler Sims, Research Compliance Specialist, Office for Research Protections, University Park 
      • Debra Thurley, Assistance Vice President for Research, Office for Research Protections, University Park 

 

  • ORIS Development Team - To implement, configure and document quality software and process solutions used by researchers and research administration in an efficient and timely manner 

    • Development Team includes: 

      • Susan Bowser 
      • Danielle Fasick 
      • Ming Ni 
      • April Ripka 
      • Doug Snook 
      • Ryan Stroup 
      • Laura Young 

 

  • Key User Group - To serve as "on the ground" users of the system providing usability feedback and solutions from the researcher perspective on as as needed and ongoing basis 

 

Benefits of CATS Safety include: 

  • Access anywhere – using WebAccess. No VPN client required 
  • Communications – sent from and retained within the system 
  • Transparency – submission status and next steps are clear 
  • Workload management – items requiring attention are presented in My Inbox 
  • Alignment of processes across the University - moving toward lab-based protocols 
  • Guides, training information and support – housed within the system 
  • Meeting management – member information, meeting agendas, documentation retained within the system 
  • Improved reporting – reportable fields and standard reports made available to researchers  

 

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