An Interview with David Kim, the Quorum Institutions Liaison
Quorum Review IRB recently named David Kim to fill the new role of Institutional Account Executive. I recently interviewed David to understand what his role is, why it was created, and how it reflects the company’s continued focus on excellent service in a time of significant change to the industry.
Emily Brown: What is your role at Quorum? Why was it created?
David Kim: I am the Institutional Account Executive. My role is to shepherd new institutions through the onboarding process and to ensure that the institutions we work with have a clear line of communication with us to keep their research moving forward.
My role was created out of the One-Touch Collaboration™ imperative to make it easier for institutional representatives to establish contact, stay in touch, and quicken the onboarding process. I’m the single point of contact for institutions, which creates transparency into a complex process. My specialty is working with clients to settle reliance agreements, which can get complicated sometimes.
EB: What is the Quorum institutions service philosophy?
DK: The client is always first. We’re especially attuned to the challenges institutions face when submitting research to a central IRB, so our primary goal is to streamline the process, maintain timelines, and deliver on our commitments. This continues after the study starts. From consent form edits to approval documents, we maintain a rigorous quality assurance program to ensure that the documents we deliver are accurate and on-time.
The company also looks for opportunities to be flexible so we can continue to deliver on our service promises no matter how the landscape changes. For example, we recently joined the SMART IRB Platform, which encourages flexibility in the size and scope of collaboration to enable IRB reliance for multisite studies.
EB: What are some of the most common challenges you see when onboarding institutions?
DK: The biggest challenge most institutions face when working with a central IRB is integrating the unique needs of institutions—for example, the need for specific consent form language, or the use of institutional submission forms—into the central IRB review process. The two don’t always align, which can complicate the onboarding process.
EB: How does Quorum address these challenges to make the client experience better?
DK: Our One-Touch Collaboration service commitment means that we actually manage those special handling requirements internally on behalf of all institutions that work with us. With one point of contact and a specialized institutions team, we’re dedicated to ensuring that every institution’s needs are met.
EB: How does Quorum make working with a central IRB easy?
DK: Institutions that join the Quorum Platinum Program enjoy even more benefits beyond exceptional client service. The Platinum Program offers institutions higher visibility among industry sponsors looking for high-quality study partners. Essentially, we have yet another way to ease some of the administrative burden placed on institutions, even before they begin a research project.
In addition, we encourage institutions to use reliance agreements, which are flexible contracts with terms that are set by the institution. Doing the initial work to settle an agreement means less paperwork for institutions over time, which is why the SMART IRB Platform is based on this model. And, because we focus on making the negotiation process as smooth and straightforward as possible, institutions gain a lot of time and resources back, just because they’ve chosen to work with Quorum.
EB: What are some reasons an institution would work with a central IRB?
DK: Top of mind for most people right now is the new NIH single IRB (sIRB) mandate, plus similar recommendations in the updated Common Rule. Essentially, the governing bodies have published guidance and regulations that push the entire research community toward central IRB ethical review.
Central IRBs can also offer institutions access to prestigious and relevant research. For example, Quorum is a great partner for institutions because, via the Platinum Program, we’re able to present them to sponsors who are looking for compatible, high-performing research sites.
EB: How many institutions does Quorum work with?
DK: We’re currently working with more than 1,200 institutions across the country and more are choosing to work with Quorum every week.
EB: What can institutions look forward to from Quorum?
DK: We are continuing to focus on enhancing the onboarding experience. We’re especially interested in aligning our review turnaround times for institutions with those we offer to the traditional site-based protocols.
We’re also making changes internally to ensure that we continue to be highly flexible, adaptive, and—most importantly—accommodating of our institutional clients’ unique needs. And in service of our mission, we continue to build a community dedicated to the well-being of all people by providing thought leadership through our blog, webinars, and through innovative initiatives.
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If your institution is ready to submit research for review contact us to get started or for more information.