IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE RITHIM TEAM
Updated: Jun 21
Research Improvements Through Harmonization In Manitoba (RITHIM)
RITHIM UPDATE - SUMMER 2022
As we head into summer, we thought it was important to provide an update to the research community on the RITHIM initiative. The full implementation of RITHIM, which will be achieved with the launch of the electronic RITHIM Provincial Research Administration System (RITHIM PRAS), will streamline and harmonize the application and review processes for health research in Manitoba. Important changes are:
· Researchers will fill out ONE application through RITHIM PRAS which collects all information required for ethics, privacy, and institutional impact reviews.
· Applications will be assessed by ethics, privacy, and institutional reviewers, as appropriate. The opportunity for a harmonized discussion that includes all these perspectives will take place at the monthly CHIPER meeting.
· Results of ethics, privacy and institutional impact reviews will be communicated to the researchers through the electronic system.
· A plan for managing amendments and annual renewals (ethics) for active research (research protocols that have already been approved) is in development. Details will be communicated in Fall 2022.
WHEN WILL THE ELECTRONIC RITHIM PRAS SYSTEM BE READY?
Our current timelines anticipate that the full RITHIM program, including RITHIM PRAS, will be implemented in 2023.
WHO NEEDS TO BE READY?
o Post-secondary institutions need to ensure that their internal policies and procedures regarding ethics reviews for health research align with the new provincial RITHIM system. The RITHIM team will be working with each post-secondary institution in the province that conducts health research regarding the changes.
Health System Institutions
o Service Delivery Organizations need to ensure that internal policies and procedures regarding institutional reviews align with the new provincial RITHIM system. The RITHIM team, along with Shared Health in their lead and coordinate role within the health system, will be working with health system stakeholders to help prepare for this change over the coming months.
Researchers and Research Coordinators
o Researchers and their staff should be aware that a shift is coming later this year in how they submit applications for ethics, privacy, and institutional impact reviews. Information, education and training on the new RITHIM PRAS system for researchers and their staff will start after the launch in 2023.
CALL FOR CHIPER NOMINATIONS
As we prepare for the full launch of RITHIM, we are looking to recruit additional members for the Committee for Harmonized Health Impact, Ethics and Privacy Review (CHIPER). CHIPER will be the provincial health research ethics board and central to the harmonized review. Show your commitment to health research in Manitoba by joining CHIPER and help to shape the future! Please see the call for nominations here: CHIPER Nominations (rithim.ca)
A “Frequently Asked Questions” page has been developed to provide additional detail and address questions received from stakeholders. Please click on link to view this page: http://rithim.ca/rithimlaunchfaq.
To facilitate broad communication, we request your organization distribute and post this update.
WHAT IS RITHIM?
RITHIM is a provincial initiative involving multiple stakeholders to improve the application process and approval time, for ethics, privacy, and institutional impact, to begin health research in Manitoba. RITHIM is unique across Canada in that it will harmonize ethics, privacy, and institutional impact review processes, creating a more efficient process for health research reviews in Manitoba.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE?
RITHIM launched on January 1, 2022, in alignment with amendments to the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA), which enabled:
· Establishment of the Provincial Health Research Privacy Committee (PHRPC) as the authority to approve use of personal health information maintained by any Manitoba Trustee, for research (https://www.rithim.ca/phrpc-overview). PHRPC has been reviewing applications monthly since January.
· Launch of the first phase of RITHIM. To support research, temporary changes have been minimized during this transition phase.
· Continued development of the RITHIM PRAS system.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
To streamline application and review processes
o Historically, there have been many bodies responsible for conducting ethics, privacy, and institutional impact reviews in Manitoba. RITHIM streamlines the application process through a single electronic administration system and harmonized reviews.
To make it faster and easier to conduct health research in Manitoba
o The goal of RITHIM is to make the application and review processes more efficient for researchers. RITHIM also works with stakeholders to align and streamline other parts of the research review process that will make it faster and easier to conduct health research in Manitoba.
To benefit Manitobans
o Efficiency in the health research application and review process will help to retain and attract world-class researchers, enable more health research, and attract industry-sponsored clinical trials to Manitoba.