of all trials are delayed due to recruitment issues.
of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry's collective clinical trial budget is for enrollment.
of the time dedicated to clinical trials is spent on patient recruitment and enrollment.
of trials never enroll a single patient.
Accelerated Clinical Trial Recruitment & Enrollment
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 80% of clinical trials in the United States fail to meet their patient recruitment timelines. These delays increase costs, deplete resources, and prolong the time to market introduction. Patient recruitment is challenging as it involves multiple stakeholders, including patients, healthcare providers (HCPs), office staff, sponsors, and clinical trial research teams. With clinical trial recruitment, timelines are tight, communications are fragmented, and recruitment rates tend to be disappointingly low. The Study Scavenger platform is your tool to counter the numbers, accelerate patient recruitment, and attain enrollment goals efficiently and within scheduled timelines.
Study Scavenger provides you a “site-focused strategy” as part of a mixed approach to recruitment to completely frame all benefits of participation that are not immediately obvious and administer systematic and comprehensive pre-screening. Ours is a direct-to-interested volunteer strategy employing a tailored IRB-approved trial message to notify and energize potential subjects using the media outlet(s) best suited to that target audience. Social media and search engine strategies allow for precise targeting of desired demographics, including geography (location).
Once contact is made we ensure that each potential subject is pre-screened for trial participation. Our pre-screening questionnaire is a product of our collaboration with you and administered direct online within strict adherence to HIPAA protocols. Patients who are interested in and potentially eligible for the trial are then referred to your study site for further evaluation. We will notify you via email that a patient is potentially eligible based on the pre-screening process and is interested in being evaluated for participation.
All strategies are unified by our prevailing goal: to break down the disconnect that has built up between patients and clinical research, and to place the patient’s needs and concerns at the heart of the trial recruitment process. Everyone agrees that communication and education are essential in overcoming the fear-based patient and family barriers to clinical recruitment. Whether tailoring information for different cultural groups, or leveraging social and mobile technologies, the objective remains the same: to persuade patients that taking part in clinical trials is beneficial for the individual as well as the collective.
Recent polls reveal just how ubiquitous the practice of consulting the Internet on health matters is:
- 80 percent of those on the Web are seeking healthcare information
- Half of health information searches within the U.S. are on behalf of someone else
- 62 percent of U.S. adults living with one or more chronic conditions go online
- 41 percent of U.S. Internet users read about others’ medical experiences on social websites or blogs
And, people are using the Internet to converse with others about health as never before:
- Facebook boasts 1.11 billion members in 2013, globally
- 33 percent of U.S. adults use social media to gather medical information, share symptoms and experiences, or rate drugs, providers, and health plans
- One third of U.S. caregivers participate in online social activities
- One in three online seniors in the U.S. uses social networking sites such as Facebook
These statistics (inVentiv Clinical White Paper) speak to the viability of social media clinical trial recruitment.
In sum Study Scavenger’s targeted, direct-to-patient online marketing platform to recruit, pre-screen and refer patients transforms the once-difficult and time-consuming challenge of achieving qualified enrollment. We offer a powerful and proven tool that leverages Social media in the clinical trial recruitment process because of its low cost and ability to reach a diverse and broad audience, yet also target. In 2014, Facebook boasted over 1.2 billion monthly active users, Twitter had 255 million, and LinkedIn was at 187 million. These numbers outweigh the traditional recruiting numbers in every way. The Study Scavenger platform’s capability is something that one-sided print/TV ads or even clinician/patient referrals cannot provide: access to diverse cultures, age groups, gender, and income levels.
We deploy pre-screening surveys that leads to producing pre-qualified candidates, which saves the study idle time in screening people. The survey is customized for each study with specific questions defined by the CRO/Sponsor’s protocol, ensuring enrollment is comprised of the core eligibility criteria. Learn more about this service here.
The following are typical components of an effective site-specific recruitment plan:
- Materials to maintain awareness of the trial in areas of the site where patients who are candidates are likely to be encountered
- Tools to help site staff in pre-screening patients and/or conducting various study procedures that may be complicated
- Detailed maps of patient pathways to assist all in understanding patient flow and optimal pre-screening strategies which can differ from site to site
- Development of specific prescreening criteria, which can include using web-based or mobile technology to assist the site in implementing effective prescreening
- Periodic one-to-one discussions of the trial with all care providers focused on the scientific rationale for the study and its design
- Educational activities at the site focused on awareness of the condition under study and its treatment
- Informed consent aids to assist providers and research staff with educating patients on the study in a balanced manner
Best Practices for Retaining Patients: Once patients are enrolled in a clinical study, the emphasis shifts to retaining patients in the trial and ensuring they are compliant with all aspects and timelines of the protocol. Enrolled study participants are more likely to adhere to protocol requirements when study-related tasks are top of mind. There are many solutions available to ensure compliance with study-related tasks, including:
- Appointment scheduling and reminders via email, mail, and telephone.
- Reminders to complete patient diaries and/or interviews.
- Online patient diaries.
- Reporting mechanisms via telephone and secure Websites, as well as centralized adverse event reporting.
- Centralized communications that streamline the information flow and provide after-hours support for questions, follow up with patients, appointment rescheduling, and sharing information directly with site coordinators.