The invention of new treatment methods and drugs depends on the ability to test and validate the research. In recent years, it has not been easy for organizations to conduct clinical trials. One area that has been notoriously difficult is the recruitment and retention of patients.
According to a report by the National Institute of Cancer, most clinical trials have either been abandoned or delayed due to a low number of subjects. The report showed that only 6% of clinical trials are completed on time. In this article, we have put together creative clinical trial recruitment strategies that will help you attract and retain patients.
1. Work with the right clinical trial recruitment company
When choosing a clinical trial recruitment company, you want to choose one with a particular specialty in a patient population or therapeutic area. You may also be interested in finding a clinical trial company like H Clinical that provides additional services like helping you find the best location for your study or developing your pre-screener.
2. Improve patient screening methods
Once patients have been identified, there should be an effective screening process that requires little travel and is minimally invasive. Thanks to technologies like random sampling, these processes are now possible. They allow candidates to submit their samples from wherever they are without the need to visit the research facility.
3. Make the process patient-centric
Your patient recruitment process should be based on individual patients and not diseases. The study design should include the patients’ voices to ensure the clinical trial has meaningful endpoints to patients. If a clinical trial doesn’t meet real patient needs, it makes recruitment even more difficult. To make the procurement process patient-centered:
- Get their feedback about the study design
- Engage the community, patients, and their peers as volunteers in the clinical trial
- Provide feedback about clinical results
4. Provide financial incentives for patients
Although offering financial incentives in healthcare can be controversial, giving modest reimbursement for the patient’s trouble can enhance the recruitment and retention of patients.
5. Utilize interactive aids to boost enrolment
Lack of relevant information is a major reason why people shun clinical trials. How you deliver information to patients can have a great impact on the enrolment rate. Videos and audiovisual materials are more effective in encouraging enrolment compared to written materials.
6. Use social media and mobile platforms
Two decades ago, patients learned about clinical trials through their health care providers, mail, or media, but this has changed. Thanks to smartphones and social media, communication is much more direct today. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made it quite easy to recruit patients for clinical trials.
7. Create systems to track and follow up with patients
When the patients have enrolled in the trial, the focus now shifts to retaining them. Use automated text messages or emails to remind patients to take the next step. You can also monitor their response to drugs remotely using microsampling devices.
Recruiting patients for clinical trials is a major challenge for modern science. Clarifying myths, providing accurate information, and incentivizing volunteers are effective ways to encourage enrolment in clinical trials.