3 Habits A Patient-Centric CRO Practices During Site Selection

Patient-centricity has become a buzzword for those of us dedicated to advancing research and transforming global health. Many believe it can be credited to policy makers and payers seeking a way to control rising costs in healthcare through the evidence of value and comparative effectiveness, but what about those it directly affects? Now more than ever study participants are armed with a wealth of information regarding their own health and wellness, which forces contract research organizations (CROs) to re-evaluate site selection and what it means to put the patient first. Understanding the patient experience and looking at a site or study through a patient’s perspective can guarantee the right participants get randomized while accelerating lead times. So, which habits do patient-centric CROs practice when it comes time to choosing the right site?

Safety

Safety and clinical trial success go hand-in-hand for a patient-centered CRO. These organizations will go out of their way to make sure that each study meets the standards for a participant’s protection, which means the risks and benefits for the study participants and the larger population are acceptable. This would also mean that the CRO would ensure each site provides a well-trained staff capable of responding to medical emergencies while carrying out each procedure with focus and precision. Additionally, these sites would hold regular training and development classes for clinical staff members so that they are not only preventing medical complications throughout the trial, but also treating any symptoms that may arise.

Awareness

Each patient that is randomized into a study comes from a unique background, so when a patient-centric CRO evaluates a site, they choose a location with a history of study documents or community outreach plans that outline the following criteria: cultural attitudes, social structures, physical limitations, and the available standard of care. In order to best match this criteria, a CRO that is focused on meeting the needs of the patient will select a site with a diverse staff capable of communicating with a variety of patients. This allows the participant to see how a clinical trial can meet their needs on a case-by-case basis. Providing this level of service not only produces a successful research study, it also creates patient advocates who share their experience of the trial among their online communities.

Patient advocates are only one of the many benefits of CROs that remain culturally aware for the benefit of their participants. Considering things like physical limitations and the available standard of care also helps push a drug to market that better reflects the population it serves. This answers the call for measurable value that providers and payers insist upon while meeting the goals of sponsors and patients alike.

Convenience

Many potential patients consider clinical trials to be extensive, invasive, and generally inconvenient. For certain populations, reliable transportation might be difficult to come by or taking time out of the week to volunteer could be next to impossible. A CRO that adopts patient-centricity acknowledges these problems and solves them by partnering with a site that offers patient shuttles and weekend hours. The CRO would also ensure this site caters to those patients with children by providing an engaging children’s room as well as flexible scheduling. By amplifying the convenience of a study through proper site selection, the patient-centric CRO guarantees greater enrollment and success for the study.

If you’re focused on improving the value of the patient at your CRO, these three habits for choosing a site will help you get there. Remember, the key to unlocking this business model lies in the question, “How will this decision benefit the patient?” It is also important to remember that adopting these habits can affect a clinical trial’s cost, speed, and quality. In the end, patient-centricity can positively impact the way patient recruitment is conducted as well as the public’s overall perception of clinical research.