Consent to Participate in Research
INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE
My name is Charlene Ronquillo. I am an Assistant Professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. I am conducting this research with support from research collaborators who comprise the Executive of the International Medical Informatics Association’s Student and Emerging Professionals Group and Canadian Nursing Informatics Association (Dr. Maxim Topax, Dr. Laura-Maria Peltonen, Dr. Dari Alhuwail, James Mitchell, and Dr. Tracie Risling).
We would like to invite you to take part in a research study concerning the health information technology response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey is intended for professionals engaged with applied health informatics and we are seeking to obtain 1000 responses internationally. The overarching purpose of this project is to develop insight into the nature of healthcare professionals’ health information technology use as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a cross-sectional exploratory descriptive study that will use an online survey as the method of data collection. The project goals are twofold: (1) to gather feedback from healthcare professionals who are working with health information technologies in their clinical practice and conduct regular analyses and updates of results to be made openly available on a dedicated website (2) to conduct secondary analyses of these data to share results with through scientific outputs (journal publications, conference proceedings).
WHAT YOU ARE BEING ASKED TO DO
You are being asked to voluntarily complete this on-line survey. It involves questions about use of health information technology to address the COVID-19 pandemic and should take about 5 minutes to complete. In order for all of your answers to be collected you must go to the end of the survey and click ‘submit survey’. Starting the survey will demonstrate your full consent to participation.
There is no direct benefit to you for taking part in this study. It is hoped that the research will help other health providers to respond to COVID-19 pandemic.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL RISKS TO YOU
You are free to decline to answer any questions you do not wish to answer, or stop participating at any time by closing your browser. You will have the opportunity to save your progress should you wish to stop the survey and return to it at a later time. If you close your browser before getting to the end of the survey, your information collected up to that point will be used. As the primary aim of this project is to provide up to date information to health informaticians, any and all data collected from participants are valuable pieces of information that we hope can inform current health information technology development and deployments to combat COVID19.
Your status as an employee will not be influenced by the decision to participate or not participate in the study. You will be asked about the nature of health information technologies that are being used in your work settings to address COVID19, your perspectives on the degree of preparedness of their work settings for the pandemic, and your perspectives on the impact of COVID19 on your work setting. It is possible that you may feel uncomfortable with sharing negative perspectives about your work settings.
YOUR SURVEY RESPONSES CAN BE ANONYMOUS
We will not be collecting information that will easily identify you, like your name or other unique identifiers. As recruitment is taking place via personal and professional networks of the researchers however, true anonymity cannot be guaranteed. Although your Internet Protocol (IP) address can be tracked through the survey platform, the researcher/s will not be collecting this information. You will have the option to provide your email address after completing the survey in a separate form, should you wish to receive updates about the study. Although there is a possibility that emails can be linked to survey responses by looking at their respective time stamps, the researchers will not be linking email addresses to responses routinely or in any automated way. If you choose not to sign up for study updates, your responses will remain anonymous as the researchers will have no way to identify individual responses once they are submitted.
HOW YOUR INFORMATION WILL BE PROTECTED AND STORED
This survey uses OpinioTM survey software purchased by Ryerson University and managed by Ryerson CCS (Computing & Communication Services). All collected data will be stored locally at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
To further protect your information, data stored by the researcher will be password protected and/or encrypted. Electronic data will be shared among researchers using Ryerson’s Google Drive. Only the researcher, a research assistant, and collaborators named in this study will have access to the data as collected. Any future publications will include collective information (i.e., aggregate data). Your individual responses (i.e. raw data) will not be shared with anyone outside of the research team.
When the research is completed, the researchers will keep the data indefinitely, after the study is over. This is because the information collected can to inform future rapid development and implementation of HIT in future pandemics.
INCENTIVE FOR PARTICIPATION
You will not be paid for taking part in this study.
YOUR RIGHTS AS A RESEARCH PARTICIPANT
Participation in research is completely voluntary and you can stop the survey at any time or skip any questions you do not want to answer. If you choose to stop the survey before clicking the submit button, your responses will not be saved or submitted as the survey software does not allow for the saving of partial responses.
The survey is anonymous for those who do not provide their email address to sign up for study updates. As such, once you click the submit button at the end of the survey the researchers will not be able to determine which survey answers belong to you so your information cannot be withdrawn after that point. While it is potentially possible to withdraw your responses after submitting the survey if you have provided your email address to sign up for study updates, this will be dependent on the ability to link the time stamps of your survey submission and email address submission. There may be instances where this is not possible, for example, if there are multiple surveys being submitted at the same time, in which case, it will not be possible to identify which survey responses might be linked to an email address.
Please note, that by clicking starting the survey, you are providing your consent for participation. By consenting to participate you are not waiving any of your legal rights as a research participant.
If you have any questions about this research, please feel free to contact Charlene Ronquillo by email: cronquillo [at] ryerson.ca or phone: 416-979-5000 x 544426.
This study has been approved by the Research Ethics Board at Ryerson University (REB 2020-175). This project is funded by Ryerson University (REF: XXX). If you have any questions about your rights or treatment as a research participant in this study, please contact the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board at rebchair [at] ryerson.ca; (416) 979-5042.
Feel free to print a copy of this page for your future reference.
Please note, that by clicking START, you are providing your consent for participation. By consenting to participate you are not waiving any of your legal rights as a research participant.
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