The importance of working as a team is crucial when it comes to running a smooth and seamless clinical trial. Forging a great team dynamic creates an environment for site staff and patients to have a rewarding clinical trial experience, which in turn leads to streamlined operations and communication dynamics, better patient compliance, and enhanced study outcomes.
Here, we examine five key ways to improve the clinical trial experience for sites and patients:
1. Understand what really matters
Consider these key questions: What matters most to the patients on your trial? What will motivate site staff to conduct your trial compliantly from start to finish? What fundamental supports will enable both groups to achieve the overall trial goals? Arm yourself with this insight and put yourself in their shoes, so that you can take the next steps to foster that sense of team. If you aren’t sure, then ask!For patients, your clinical trial may be their best chance to fight a life-limiting disease. Or it might just be a small item on a long list of other things going on in their life. For site staff, your trial is an integral part of their workload. Their experiences working on your trial can inform and influence everything from the way they complete essential tasks to how they speak to patients.
2. Train your site team
You wouldn’t expect someone to start a new job without any training, would you? The training you provide to your study sites is an essential component of trial set-up. Your site staff need to understand the protocol in detail so that, in turn, they can explain the study to patients with confidence and a sense of purpose.
It starts with the core information you disseminate to study centers. Over 59% of industry sponsored Phase III trials have at least 11 sites. It’s critical to ensure that the protocol and your associated training resources are standardized across sites, and accessible on-demand for top-up training as the study progresses.
3. EMPOWER YOUR PATIENTS
We know that clinical trial patients want and need information about the study they are giving their time to, and need to know what to expect when they attend their site visits. Here, technology can be a great enabler. 81% of patients prefer to use self-service applications to resolve their queries, and so technology that allows patients to recall information on request can help them to feel empowered and in control.
4. Use a central repository for trial information
Having a one-stop repository for the latest trial information means that all staff across large multi-site trials have access to the same, up-to-date materials, and that those training resources are available as and when they need them. The benefits of using a single, consolidated platform for all clinical trial information also extends to the study manager, offering real-time visualization of trial data.
5. Give your team a great experience
If you employ tools that simplify processes for the site staff and make their work faster, easier, and more efficient, they will be more engaged. Imagine, as a study nurse, being able to pull up all the data on today’s patients on your tablet, and then use that same device to take the patients right through the study. From a patient’s perspective, moving away from lengthy printed documents to interactive, compelling content is not only more engaging (allowing patients to digest information at their own pace and return to it when they need to), it also leaves a lasting impression of a seamless, sophisticated experience for patients, which ultimately inspires trust and confidence in your trial.