As a former clinical research coordinator and clinic manager, I know first-hand that primary study coordinators are often the busiest members of the interdisciplinary study site teams. Managing investigator schedules, pre-screening potential participants, scheduling and confirming screening appointments, managing study drugs, and maintaining adequate staffing are just some of the myriad responsibilities a coordinator can be tasked with. And that’s not even getting to the importance of devoting your full attention to each patient in your clinic!
As better understanding is gained on the experiences of those that participate in a clinical trial, more and more study sponsors have now started providing reimbursement and travel support services. While helpful for engaging and retaining patients, site coordinators are often understandably concerned with how they will have time to manage these programs.
RSG® Card and RSG® Arrive are designed specifically for the clinical trial landscape and are intended to be quick and easy to use for both site staff and study participants. Having programs like these would have been invaluable to me in my time working as a coordinator. Knowing that such important aspects of the study are taken care of so easily really reduces overall mental burden and frees up space to focus on patients.
With RSG® Card, all reimbursements are processed in the central portal TrialCentralNet® (TCN®). The assigned site staff member simply needs to review the study participant’s receipts and confirm expenses are eligible, then enters those amounts in the RSG® Card module in TCN®. Once they click approve, the funds are automatically placed on the study participant’s card. It’s as simple as that!
I see this as such a major benefit because it allows site staff to get back some time in their day. For example, reimbursements for multiple visits could be completed in less than five minutes. During especially busy clinic days, to be able to focus on only treatment and testing, and then complete all outstanding reimbursements at the end of the day, would be such a stress reliever. And to answer an oft-recurring question: study participants who are being seen for screening appointments are eligible for reimbursements, even if they screen fail.
With RSG® Arrive, what traditionally used to take two hours or more for a site team member to research, plan and book travel arrangements, has been reduced to 10 minutes or less! You can talk to your patients about the needs they have to get to the visit, and then request the exact level of support that they need.
Because this program is also managed in TCN® (just like RSG® Card), it makes it that much easier to track both reimbursements and travel for study participants. Site staff sign participants up for the program and submit travel requests, and BBK’s concierge team creates the itinerary that best fits each individual participant’s needs (including caregivers / companions if needed). Once a final itinerary is ready, site staff review and approve and then the itinerary is sent directly to the participant by BBK.
Because the success of clinical trials relies so heavily upon the clinical research coordinator's ability to effectively manage day-to-day study tasks, it is my firm belief that programs like RSG® Card and RSG® Arrive, which focus on delivering satisfaction and long-term engagement to study participants, are the way forward. These programs care for site staff so that they can care for study participants – the essence of patient centricity.