Department of Defense

Excessive paperwork regarding material tranfser agreements

The current demands for gaining approval on any piece of equipment shipped to a DoD hospital is not only excessive, but seriously endangers the health of our veterans. Here's an example: I'm coordinating a study in which a $60,000 device was donated at zero-cost by the manufacturer to assist in a research study treating veterans suffering from severe depression and suicidal ideation. This device has the ability to significantly reduce depressive symptoms and the risk of suicide, and our study is the first to apply this new technology to an active-duty population. This device, which cost the government nothing, was delayed by 6 months while the necessary paperwork was shuffled back and forth between desks. We need IRB approval, then we needed a contract written between the researchers, Walter Reed and the manufacturer, then the contract had to be approved by the director of CIRO, then to facilities management to finally approve shipping. 6 months wasted arguing over a contract that the two major parties agreed on simply because the paper-pushers couldn't be bothered to review the contracts in a timely fashion. That is 6 months in which severely depressed and suicidal veterans were denied treatment in an approved study. Bottom-line: military suicides could have been prevented but weren't because of slow and cumbersome paperwork. Streamline this process by letting a local site make it's own determination without having to wait on CIRO approval. Or come up with a better way of saying "We're sorry we couldn't treat your husband's depression and he took his own life, but the contract simply wasn't signed"



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Idea No. 288