Patient Recruitment from a Site Perspective: Technology Meeting Today’s Challenges
Effective participant recruitment is crucial to a successful clinical trial, but recruiting eligible participants in sufficient numbers has long been a challenge. As trials become more complex, and calls for appropriate diversity in participant populations increase, the problem is intensifying. Smaller sites often have the most difficulty, and fewer resources for meeting the challenges.
Strategically using the right tools and technologies can streamline your recruitment, helping to establish a clear process and making it easier to identify potential participants, enroll them, and efficiently manage them throughout a trial’s course. There are also many associated benefits for site teams struggling with burdensome workloads that too often take them away from the core business of providing care.
Having tools and technologies to provide efficient processes and support effective communications is essential for success. Unfortunately, many sites are still struggling to work effectively with inadequate tools like Excel spreadsheets. Those sites may be surprised to learn the capabilities and relative affordability of a clinical trial management system (CTMS).
Establish the All-important Process
When it comes to sites and recruitment, a fundamental problem is often the process. The beauty of a CTMS is it goes beyond simply providing a tool, offering a ready-made process with a solid foundation for recruiting activities. Sites without a centralized solution may find recruitment can be a chaotic, fragmented process. Traditional approaches like tracking potential participants in spreadsheets or emails are tedious, prone to error, and lead to difficulty measuring the campaign’s success. In some cases, they can even hamper recruitment and participation.
Consolidate Functionality in One Place
Another great advantage of using a CTMS platform is it consolidates vital functionalities, enabling sites to leverage one system for multiple purposes and integrating workflows to save staff time. This streamlines and simplifies the work associated with operating a clinical trial site. After all, managers may be hesitant to introduce unnecessary systems, and no team member wants to be responsible for learning and using more systems than necessary.
While integrated workflows within the site technology ecosystem can provide significant time savings, sites can also leverage integrations with outside platforms to boost recruitment efforts. For example, sites can integrate with social media platforms such as Facebook to manage recruitment campaigns and track prospective participants directly within the CTMS. And, using an API, a CTMS can connect to other databases or registries to allow a site to leverage those instead of creating its own from scratch.
Once your information is entered into the CTMS, you can segment it, create call lists and task lists for your staff, or manipulate it in other ways as needed.
Improve Team Member Satisfaction
Design matters in a CTMS – staff need to be able to confidently learn and use the CTMS system quickly. So, shop for an intuitive interface and easy-to-use workflows. User-focused design allows staff to focus on the clinical side of research rather than on the operational side, which most staff will appreciate.
A CTMS can also help make a site more attractive to sponsors. By demonstrating efficiency, well-defined processes, and a track record of success in recruitment, you will set yourself apart from many other contenders for a sponsor’s business.
Elevate Your Site
To summarize, a comprehensive, site-friendly CTMS is the solution to multiple problems for busy sites wanting to successfully engage in clinical research. Since a CTMS offers an integrated workflow, everything can be centralized, streamlined, and simplified. When these centralized and simplified workflows extend to patient recruitment, you can ensure your site is ready for even the most complex trials.