Clinical trial participation is the core of future medical advances. But for sites, recruiting patients in clinical trials and conducting them on the journey is usually a challenging task, driving to nearly 80% of trials failing to meet on-time enrollment (1). In a digital era, technology is at the service of improved trial participation and more effective site recruiting.
The recent ethical and regulatory calls for diversity, equity, and inclusion demand broadening the recruiting strategies to multiple channels like social networks and opening to underrepresented populations in clinical trials like migrants, persons with disabilities, and ethnic minorities.
Through a web-based and automated recruiting flow, sites can address issues like failing to recruit the planned sample size, recruiting fewer population groups, or doing it slower, causing founding difficulties (2). Integra IT experts have found enormous benefits in automating the recruiting flow for increasing patient engagement and supporting the site operations:
1. Build a Strategy Around Faster Engagement
Sites need to move fast to achieve recruiting targets; with automated recruiting activities, sites can generate a participant-centric communication stream to engage with possible candidates. For example, automatization can eliminate site-delaying activities like checking agendas, re-calls, writing emails, and updating databases and accelerate recruiting in complex scenarios like multisite networks and conducting Randomized Clinical Trials.
2. Get Trackable Leads
3. Don’t miss Any Point-of-touch
Fast interactions, digital recruiting, and programmed follow-ups are tools to avoid losing potential participants. A standardized flow can take advantage of multiple communication channels like chats, automatic calls, and emails to avoid missing any opportunity to give the participant valuable information. These automated tasks will optimize the recruiting team’s time and reduce failed or non-attendance activities.
4. Connected Field Professionals
Better outcomes from on-the-field strategies. People visiting rural areas, communities, or door-to-door engagement in underrepresented populations, can leverage an automated process through the use of Smartphones and automated forms to better gather real-time data regarding inclusion and exclusion criteria for candidates. Also, georeferentiation can benefit the location of patients where addresses are difficult to define.
5. Maximize Database Usage
With automated recruiting, it is easier and faster to maintain the potential participants’ database updated and clean. Moreover, analyze performance indicators like the non-participation reasons to adjust the strategy. To take full advantage of databases, sites can, through the same platform, manage referrals or use contacts from previous initiatives.
6. Entire Digitized Site
Achieving the recruiting targets positively impacts the timelines, time-to-market, and obtaining sufficient evidence. Delivering statistically significant evidence and reducing the risk of ethical implications can be enabled by identifying early participant recruiting problems and having real-time performance indicators to do timely decision-making.
- Stanley, E. Is Your Site Selection Process Optimized? April 2021. Halloran Consulting Group, Inc. Clinical Leader. Link: https://www.clinicalleader.com/doc/is-your-site-selection-process-optimized-0001
- McDonald AM, Knight RC, Campbell MK, Entwistle VA, Grant AM, Cook JA, Elbourne DR, Francis D, Garcia J, Roberts I, Snowdon C. What influences recruitment to randomized controlled trials? A review of trials funded by two UK funding agencies. Trials. 2006 Apr 7;7:9. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-7-9. PMID: 16603070; PMCID: PMC1475627. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16603070/
- Campbell MK, Snowdon C, Francis D, Elbourne D, McDonald AM, Knight R, Entwistle V, Garcia J, Roberts I, Grant A, Grant A; STEPS group. Recruitment to randomised trials: strategies for trial enrollment and participation study. The STEPS study. Health Technol Assess. 2007 Nov;11(48):iii, ix-105. doi: 10.3310/hta11480. PMID: 17999843. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17999843/