5 Questions to Enhance Your Clinical Trial Enrollment Planning

April Schultz
October 16th, 2019

Patient recruitment, while essential to the success of any study, is often one of the most complex and difficult parts of the clinical trial process. Too often do sites take on a study, only to find they don’t have the necessary resources or lack the proper patient population to enroll enough subjects to trial. To minimize this risk and increase the likelihood of a successful patient recruitment campaign, it’s important to have an enrollment plan in place.

To help you create a solid plan of action before you take on a study and recruit subjects, we’ve put together a new eBook, “Patient Recruitment in Clinical Trials: Steps to Develop a Successful Enrollment Strategy.” Here’s a sneak peek of the best practices and strategies addressed in the eBook: 

1. Do I have the necessary resources?

The first step of enrollment planning is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the resources at your disposal. Overestimating your site’s capabilities and under-delivering on a study can harm your site’s reputation. Take time to inventory your equipment, staff and patient database to determine if the study is really feasible for your site.

2. Who is my ideal subject?

The success of any promotion or advertisement relies on a company’s understanding of their target audience. Before deploying any patient recruitment campaigns, do some research on your ideal patient population. Determine your population’s demographics, motivations, media usage and any other factor that may influence the course of your recruitment campaign. A study’s inclusion/exclusion criteria are a great place to start when defining your target patient population.

3. What does my patient database look like?

The highest-quality and least-expensive patients to enroll are the ones that come from your site’s own database or practice. For this reason, it’s important that any patient recruitment campaign begin with an internal focus. Review your patient database and contact those who may be eligible. Use phone calls, emails, postcards and social media to promote your study and recruit subjects from internal sources.

4. What are my low-cost options?

Sponsors appreciate sites that exhaust the lowest-cost options before taking on more expensive initiatives. Take advantage of inexpensive community outreach events, networking and physician referrals to promote your study and recruit subjects. It’s also best to contact your most reliable and easy-to-work-with prospects first, before reaching out to less dependable options.

5. What do sponsors want to see in my enrollment planning?

When working with a sponsor, a documented plan demonstrates accountability and a drive to succeed. Develop a well-written plan specific to your site that includes allocation of budgets, justification for estimated expenses as well as metrics to summarize a sponsor’s return on their investment in your site.

Want to know more? 

To gain more in-depth insight on tracking projected vs actual enrollment for clinical studies, identifying studies at risk of not meeting minimum enrollment targets and strategic approaches to effective intervention, watch our on-demand webinar Strategic Approaches to Identify Recruitment Issues and Interventions.