PRIM&R’s Abstract Spotlight

In this series of Ampersand posts, PRIM&R touches base with those who presented programmatic and research-based findings at past PRIM&R conferences.Spotlight on an abstract from the 2009 IACUC ConferenceTitle: Post Approval Monitoring: 3 Years in Review Authors: Carolyn Malinowski, MS, RLATG, CMAR, CPIA and Sue Kallay, BS, RLATG, CPIAAffiliation: Northwestern University Abstract summary: Post Approval Monitoring (PAM) Programs are a new and growing trend in the laboratory animal field. PAM is a program through which an IACUC/institution can ensure and document program integrity, compliance with regulations and guidelines, and adherence to protocols. Although they are not required by regulation, PAM Programs are recommended and looked upon favorably by Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International and all regulatory agencies. At Northwestern University, the PAM Program was developed and implemented about three years ago. During this time, the program has rapidly expanded and become its own entity. Since initiation, more than 50 PAM visits have been conducted, and detailed records have been maintained. This poster detailed the experiences at Northwestern and the most common findings during PAM visits. PRIM&R Staff (PS): What challenges have you faced in implementing this program? Sue Kallay (SK): The greatest challenges that we have faced with our program is reaching a satisfactory number of visits. Since investigators tend to schedule procedures intermittently, especially in USDA-covered species, they may have nothing going on at the time of initial contact. The process of contacting the investigator, then following up to find a date when they have something to observe, can take many weeks. The paperwork to keep track of this is proving to be unwieldy and takes away time to perform the main focus of our program, the visits themselves.PS: It’s been a year since you presented this abstract at PRIM&R’s 2009 IACUC Conference. How has your program changed or evolved in the past 12 months?SK: This burden of paperwork has driven us to overhaul the way we manage our program. While still in the planning stage, 2010 will see the program shift from a protocol-driven program to an investigator-driven one. Rather than randomly choosing protocols, we will visit an investigator and conduct an in-depth review of each of their protocols, selecting a few procedures to observe. We anticipate this will translate to the compliance liaison spending several days with the lab. Although this may be disruptive, we think the trade-off of one mildly disruptive annual visit versus several visits per year will be welcomed by the investigators.For questions or comments about this program, please contact Ms. Kallay.Interested in submitting an abstract to present at PRIM&R’s next animal or human research ethics conference? Please e-mail us for more information.