Press Release

For Immediate Release
Aug 15, 2011
Contact : Robert Cavanaugh, Manager of Public Affairs  

Meridian Health Supports Centralized Clinical Research across a Five-Hospital Network with the OnCore System


Neptune, NJ - A multi-year project to centralize a growing clinical research program, improve accruals, and move away from paper-based processes culminated last month with the implementation of the OnCore Clinical Research Management system across a five-hospital network at Meridian Health in New Jersey.

The project began a few years ago when Meridian began moving away from paper-based processes and started managing data in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. However, with rapid growth in their clinical research division, spreadsheets quickly became woefully inadequate. "Over the last few years our clinical research division has grown from a handful of clinical trials to over 200 active trials today," said Ernest W. Richards, PhD, FACN, Corporate Director of Research Services for Meridian Health.  

Meridian, in an effort headed by Richards, began shopping for a comprehensive clinical trials management system (CTMS). After an in-depth survey of the products available in the market, as well as a pilot project utilizing the OnCore system for just one trial at one hospital, Meridian came to a decision. 

"OnCore had the functionality that we needed to manage clinical research across all therapeutic areas and integrate clinical trials financials and billing," Richards said. 

After a six-month ramp-up period, Meridian went live with OnCore in June. The initial rollout involves a team of 20 people who comprise a centralized clinical research office for the five-hospital network. 

The Meridian team utilized a unique approach to training and data migration. They elected to enter data by hand from all of their active trials and used the experience as part of the learning process. Data entry took place during the second day of on-site training, with staff from Forte Research Systems standing by to help guide the process and answer questions. 

Srini Kalluri, Founder, President, CEO and Chief Customer Experience Officer at Forte Research Systems, was very pleased to see the implementation of OnCore at Meridian, which is the first such multi-hospital network to implement the system.  

"Meridian's commitment to streamlined operations and a centralized clinical research infrastructure is inspiring, and we feel honored to be chosen as their technology partner in this endeavor," Kalluri said. "The Meridian team is a valuable addition to the OnCore community." 

In his position, it is Richards' job to facilitate the conduct of research across the hospital system. "We have centralized clinical research with the same SOPs, policies, etc. Now, one IRB approval serves five hospitals. Ultimately, this enables us to expand the catchment area for each individual hospital to that of five hospitals." 

Richards reports that the transition to a CTMS went very well; people were excited and ready for something that would let them work more efficiently.   

Since implementing OnCore a month ago, Richards sees gains in their ability to track and understand research-related procedures and generate reports on the procedures that are conducted. Additionally, real-time access to the status of clinical trials being conducted across the hospital network is a key benefit for Meridian leadership. 

So far, the Meridian team has implemented OnCore Clinical Research Management (OnCore-CRM) functionality to include protocol management, subject management, and regulatory review tracking. Within the next year, Meridian will expand their use of OnCore to include the data management, electronic data capture, subject-visit tracking, and financials management capabilities of the system. 

Looking forward, Richards plans to take advantage of OnCore's Multi-Center Trial Support functionality which will be generally available to all OnCore customers in 2012. With this functionality, Meridian will be able to participate in trials and share protocol and subject data with any other research organization that uses OnCore.   

About Meridian Health
Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and outpatient centers. Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in New Jersey for clinical quality, is one of the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For", and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence, including the distinction of being the first health system in the country to receive Magnet designation for nursing.   

About OnCore
The OnCore system is the flagship product from Forte Research Systems, Inc., a software development company specializing in clinical and translational research informatics. As the nation's most widely adopted clinical research platform among academic research organizations and cancer centers, OnCore is the result of over a decade of experience working closely with large research organizations, including many world-class NCI designated cancer centers and institutes funded by the National Institute of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program. 

OnCore-CRM offers a comprehensive set of modules for managing all aspects of clinical research:

- Protocol & Subject Life Cycle Management 

- Subject Safety Management 

- Protocol & Subject Calendar Management 

- Study Financials Management 

- Electronic Data Capture and Data Management 

- Paperless Committee Management with ePRMS 

- Study Information Portal 

- Custom Reporting Technology 

In addition to the clinical research management product, two others complete the OnCore product portfolio. These are OnCore for Biospecimen Management (OnCore-BSM) and OnCore for Unified Registries Management (OnCore-URM). 

For information about the OnCore clinical research informatics platform, contact Forte Research Systems at (608) 826-6000 or visit the company online at