What is an Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS)?
The Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) is a computerized information database designed to support the life sciences, healthcare, biotechnology & FDA agency post-marketing safety surveillance program for all approved drug and therapeutic biologic products. Regulatory authorities and agencies use AERS to monitor new adverse events and medication errors that might occur with these marketed products. Reporting of adverse events from the point of care is voluntary. FDA receives some adverse event and medication error reports directly from health care professionals such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and consumers (such as patients, family members, lawyers and others).
Organizations operating in the healthcare domain must have processes and procedures in place to meet the AERS regulations set by authorities
Why is an AERS important?
Adverse Events Reporting System is crucial for detecting, processing & reporting adverse drug & supplement-associated events. Thus, reporting via an AERS is fundamental to detecting subject safety issues and mitigate the relevant risks with planning. This is the reason healthcare and life sciences companies are required to clearly state the method by which the adverse events will be monitored & reported. This also includes stating the provisions to ensure safety, care and medical support for those experiencing unfavourable signs & symptoms during a clinical trial.
How does AERS work?
A safety database is used to manage safety reports incoming from multiple research & study centres where the clinical trials are conducted. This database or repository of all the adverse cases can be analyzed together to flag potential trends amongst the cases. The review and analysis of the safety of a given healthcare product is given by the safety committee, which is composed of a group of experts in the field.
Recording Adverse Events
To efficiently evaluate safety information pertaining to a clinical trial, the safety reports of an organization must satisfy the reporting threshold set by regulatory agencies like the FDA. In the case of a large volume of independent adverse event reports that lack context and clarity, evaluating the safety information becomes impossible.
Thus, to maintain the integrity of the safety process and protect human counterparts, the following things must be considered while recording an adverse clinical trial event;
- Severity or intensity (mild, moderate or severe)
- Study intervention relationship
- Action taking as per the study intervention
- Outcome of the adverse event
- Whether the adverse event is serious or non-serious
The above AERS compliance requirements determine the reporting procedures that must be followed.
Need adverse event reporting system planning?
PSC Biotech will assist you in creating a strategic roadmap for determining what data should be collected and what processes need to be in place to ensure compliance with regulations, including definitions and approaches to define the roles, responsibilities, processes, forms, the communication of adverse events and the follow-up activities to ensure that complete information is obtained.
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Accurate record management is a crucial operation for the organizations in Biotechnology, Life sciences, Pharmaceutical and Medical Equipment domains. The document content is growing enormously and manual sorting of the records makes it tedious & prone to errors. This is where Electronic Document Management Systems comes into the picture. Organizations in the life science industry utilize cloud-based document management software to create, modify, and maintain documents to ensure accuracy, fast retrieval and audit.
What are the challenges posed by manual document management?
Manual document management has become obsolete in the life sciences industry due to multiple challenges and inefficiencies. Some of them are;
Tedious Team Collaboration
Manual preparation of the documents is a time-intensive process that requires collaborative work. If the workflow is not streamlined, errors and delays often occur. This makes the records less reliable than automated records.
Inherent Risks of Manual Document Management
The manual process of document management leaves it prone to many human errors. This might include losing a critical document, wrong filing, erroneous labelling and misinterpretation of information. This also points to poor revision and update procedures as there are no reminders for the human users to do so.
Tracking Changes is Difficult
Keeping a track of all the versions and the relevant changes in them is a big challenge for life science companies that are using manual document management systems. This sometimes poses regulatory challenges due to the unavailability of the latest version of the document. A document might be required beforehand before its revision date has arrived and that becomes a challenge!
Physical documents require dedicated and secure storage space which maintain optimum environmental parameters. Crucial records are often stored in fire-proof and waterproof cabinets that require more space. Moreover, access to the storage has to be monitored for security & integrity of the data.
How does an Electronic Document System mitigate the above challenges?
A cloud-based Electronic Records Management system is fast, reliable, secure and efficient. Following are its benefits in the life sciences industry.
Cloud Storage and Automation
An Electronic Document Management system eliminates the need for physical document processes. Automated uploads, scanning & recognition save tonnes of labour and mistakes in maintaining crucial data about the patients.
Seamless Information Retrieval
Most advanced EDM systems come with advanced search and record retrieval features. From simple string search for the document title to page controls and tags, EDMs allow access to the latest version of any given document at any time.
Version Tracking & Security
Electronic Document Management Systems keep a track of all the versions of a document with time stamps. Moreover, watermarks can be placed on the documents as per their usage. For. e.g. Confidential, For Training, Controlled Copy, Uncontrolled Copy, etc. This also makes the process of updating documents much easier.
State-of-art Electronic Document Management systems come enabled with all the regulatory mandates. For instance, PSC Biotech’s EDM software is compliant with EU Annex 11, ISO, MHRA & WHO. The teams can access features like audit trails, e-signatures and 2-level authentication for every document.
Need a Reliable EDM Software for Your Life Science Company?
For over ten years PSC Software™ has provided cloud-based document management software for life science companies around the globe. If you would like to know how we can help your company optimize record management and streamline your business, get in touch with us today!