5 Things to Consider When Selecting Your Patient Recruitment Partner
We have all heard these statistics before: 85% of all clinical trials fail to recruit enough patients and 80% are delayed due to patient recruitment problems.1 This makes selecting the right patient recruitment partner such an important part of setting your study up for success.
Selecting a recruitment vendor can be such an overwhelming task, especially with it being such a crowded space. You spend some time researching companies, schedule a few capabilities presentations, and then must decide on the company that will be responsible for such a large part of your study: recruiting and enrolling patients.
As you move through this process and begin to vet potential partners, consider these 5 things:
Many patient recruitment companies focus only on one specific recruitment service. Using companies with this business model can increase your budget, since you will need to hire multiple vendors to fulfill your recruitment strategy. As you research vendors and evaluate each company as your recruitment partner, consider patient recruitment companies who have full-service capabilities. You can find all your recruitment needs in one place, while gaining efficiencies in both your study timeline and budget.
Most clinical trials are recruiting in many countries around the world, so why shouldn’t your recruitment vendor have true global expertise? There are many nuances to recruiting globally, including country acceptance of recruitment methods, country regulations, and requirements of each Ethics Committee within a country/region. When deciding on a vendor to use for your study, ask them about their global experience. Find a company who has staff on the ground in each country. These individuals will speak the native language, understand the country’s culture, and have a true understanding of what is needed and what is allowed for patient recruitment in their local areas.
Dedicated Site Support Team
Sites often lack the time and resources needed to successfully recruit for their studies. They are handling multiple studies at one time, and are responsible for many tasks: chart reviews, advertising, reaching out to referral networks, recruitment analysis, referral follow-up, visit scheduling, patient compliance and retention, and the list goes on. There are too many things for them to take care of, and just not enough time in the day. Your recruitment vendor should have the capabilities to help study coordinators and site staff accomplish these tasks. They should work as an extension of the site to keep your study top of mind, make sure recruitment activities are happening, and patients are being screened. It is also important that the staff of your recruitment partner has a clinical research or medical background. This will give them the background they need to truly understand your study’s protocol and patient population.
Customized Recruitment Solutions
Providing patient recruitment services for a clinical trial is not a one-size-fits-all process. If you have worked with a vendor who gives you one standard solution for all your sites, consider re-evaluating and vetting new vendors. Each site on your study has different recruitment needs and challenges. Your recruitment vendor should create customized enrollment plans for each site based on these specific needs, their geographic location/regional regulations, and their past experiences with various recruitment methods. What works for one site may not work for another.
Reporting and Analytics
One of the most important things your patient recruitment partner can do for you is provide you with reporting and metrics on their executed recruitment activities. Without these metrics, you are not able to make informed decisions on which activities are working vs which ones are not as effective. As you and your recruitment partner work through the initial recruitment strategy, the process and methods used should be adjusted based on successes and potential failures seen throughout the study.
If you are in the process of identifying potential patient recruitment vendors for your study, these criteria can be used to form a checklist that you can refer to during the evaluation process.
To schedule a capabilities presentation with CSSi or to learn how we can support your study’s recruitment needs, contact CSSi.