In last week’s post I focused on how socio-techno advancements, a balanced patient outreach plan, and optimal outreach strategies work to enhance patient recruitment and engagement. While those three trends are painting a picture for how to optimize the clinical trial practices of the future, there are two more top trends that will help to round out any campaign.
Site Staff are Consumers too
Adoption of futuristic patient recruitment and engagement strategies starts at the site. Site staff have wants, needs, and expectations too. Like any working person, they want things that will make their jobs less burdensome. They want the information they need to be on hand when they need it so they can get the job done. The extent to which they are satisfied by the tools and support provided to them is the extent to which they will be worthy study ambassadors for the participants. New technology and innovations are making it easier for site staff to streamline their tasks and create more efficiency in processes. In fact, BBK has noted throughout our studies that sites who embrace new technologies have screening rates that are at least 50 percent higher than those who do not.
Let’s take a peek at what the future might look like for patient recruitment. Imagine it’s 2025. You need to visit your doctor’s office. This is a visit that needs to be done in person – not one that can be handled by a telemedicine platform. You walk in the office. Your mobile device (maybe a phone, maybe a watch, maybe something else completely different, it’s 2025 after all) knows you’re at your doctor’s office and checks you in by way of the electronic medical records system – which through intensive and necessary collaboration has been harmonized. The office EMR searches clinicaltrials.gov – or it’s nextgen similar – for study matches based on your location, health data in the record and the data supplied by your device peripherals, and then forwards to your device an ethics-approved video introduction to relevant studies. Simultaneously, the site’s research coordinator is notified that you are in the waiting room and potentially eligible for a specific study the site is conducting – or perhaps one that may be worthy of consideration that’s being conducted by a near-by colleague. And that’s just the beginning of your highly personalized clinical study engagement.
We know that innovation has been moving forward faster and faster over time. My prediction is this pace will remain steady if not increase, and consumers will continue to drive these changes. So the question remains, how do we communicate in an effective manner in five, ten or even 20 years from now. How do we prepare ourselves and evaluate new things with an optimistic point of view as opposed to “Do we have to do this?” or “How much is it going to cost?” Do it with optimism, but with a systematic process in place that makes evaluating new innovations in clinical research more efficient. Look around you at what people are doing today and 80 percent of it will apply to tomorrow. 2025 and beyond will be an exciting time, just as 2015 is an exciting time right now.
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