In part one of this two-part series, I discussed positive trends in patient recruitment and how the sheer range of recruitment- and retention-related services, products, and solutions has exponentially increased, with innovation never stronger. While today’s trends in global patient recruitment are creating the opportunity for greater momentum than ever before, it’s important to strategically consider tactics based on site capabilities and the unique study at hand. How do you do this?
The wise sponsor will perceive that any focused strategy can be too easily obscured simply by how many choices there are in recruitment and retention services, products, and solutions. Having a more flashy and complex campaign does not necessarily equate to conducting a highly effective campaign.
Here’s what you need to consider doing:
- Stay focused: More often than you might think, campaigns are knocked off strategy by the sponsors’ or CROs’ desire to use the next big recruitment idea for their study. Similarly, excitement about all these new options can lead teams to a “kitchen sink” approach to their campaigns – a wide range of disparate tactics, each with varying levels of effectiveness. Both of these scenarios may offer the illusion of maximizing enrollment potential while actually diluting efforts and budget – and, by dint, limiting the potential of each tactic.
- Maximize what’s working: Is what you’re doing helping to speed up enrollment? If so, maximize those efforts. If not, be sure you need the program for other goals and objectives and, if so, make sure it isn’t tapping out the resources you need for your strategic efforts.
- Take a targeted approach: This requires more than just providing advertising budgets to your sites for use as they see fit. Rather, the tactics you choose for achieving enrollment should consider what’s most likely to drive the number of inquiries you’ll need.
- Ensure your approach supports effective qualification of respondents in a timely and cost-effective manner: That approach may involve television advertising with a call center, Internet advertising with a study website, training programs for site staff that enable them to more effectively engage their potential participants, etc.
- Remember, your most valuable patient recruitment asset is time: If any of your efforts are not helping to maximize your remaining enrollment time, chances are they’re actually slowing your enrollment effort in some way, shape, or form.
- Consider additional goals and objectives beyond enrollment: This may include building relationships with your study sites. Secondary objectives may demand their own set of actions and tools. This is fine, as long as these efforts aren’t detracting from achieving the primary goal or depleting your available resources, but rather appropriately complementing or enhancing them.
Of these, remember your greatest consideration is time. It’s the one element you can’t get more of without extending your enrollment deadline – and isn’t that the point of your recruitment campaign – not to extend the LPI date?
Connect with Rob on LinkedIn: Have ideas about maximizing patient recruitment trends? We’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment below!