Because Science Is A Team Sport: Collaborations Made Easy
October 16, 2018
Collaborations are hard. Not because we lack the desire to collaborate and certainly not because we don’t know how to work together. The scientific and healthcare domains are built upon a strong foundation of teamwork. Whether it is the collaboration that occurs every day among caregiving teams dedicated to providing the best care possible to their patients, or the periodic sharing of knowledge at a conference or through publications in journals -- there are many examples of collaboration and knowledge sharing occurring all around us.
Still, discussions abound regarding the need for our communities to collaborate and share more freely. There is truth in this as well but what isn’t always acknowledged is that the problem isn’t that we don’t want to collaborate or know how, the problem is that we don’t always have an efficient and easy way of doing so. And therefore, our acts of collaboration are either occasional events when we have time to make the extra effort or if it occurs within the confined walls of our working environment where it is easier to do so.
How then do we scale our collaborative outreach? How do we know that we have something of value to share with a peer without having knowledge of their quest? How do we communicate and brainstorm securely with someone in another corner of the globe without having to jump through technical hoops? The list of questions and challenges is a long one.
At Plexome, we recognize that collaborations and knowledge sharing would occur a lot more often if it was just easier to do so. Whether it is the need to communicate with a person or group, share documents or data, or work together to gather datasets that will aid in generating greater insights for research questions – researchers should be able to do this without having to deal with the complex infrastructural, operational or technical aspects of working collaboratively every time one has an idea, project or need for a professional discussion. The Plexome community collaborates in a variety of ways, including:
Brainstorming with peers to review and discuss ideas for research projects
Centralizing collection of data across sites e.g. patient and biospecimen registries, outcomes reporting, quality improvement projects, post market surveillance etc.
Conducting virtual case reviews with a panel of experts
Managing discussions and feedback from focus groups and advisory committees who share a common interest
Consolidating document repositories for improved, universal access
Sharing knowledge and best practices with researcher, staff and students
Creating an environment where research and discovery flourishes without impediment is critical to continuous innovation. There are a lot of details that the research community must get right to ensure a successful project outcome – worrying about how they are going to collaborate with others shouldn’t be one of them. For that, there's Plexome.