5 Tips for Viewing Demos of Clinical Trial Management Systems

Dawn Burke
October 14th, 2015

When searching for a new clinical trial management system (CTMS), viewing live product demos is one of the most effective means of determining whether a system will meet all of your site’s needs. However, this can mean a lot of time spent watching various demos and assessing different CTMS capabilities. This article highlights five tips to help you get the most out of each CTMS demo and guide you during your system review.

1. Include as many team members as possible

Adopting a new CTMS will be much easier if you have buy-in from the people at the site who will be using it. Inviting these staff members to view the demos and voice their opinions will likely make them more receptive to change and system adoption.

Having multiple people in the room will also provide different perspectives on how the CTMS might work in various capacities, such as patient recruitment, regulatory, or finance.

2. Evaluate each system based on criteria important to your site

A CTMS can have a lot of features that may or may not be essential to your site functions. It’s important to know what you need and want in a CTMS prior to viewing demos. That way, you can accurately evaluate each system based on how it will improve your workflows.

3. Ask lots of questions

A demo should be a conversation of what you need and how the vendor’s system can best address those needs. For this reason, it is extremely beneficial to communicate your requirements of a system to the vendor prior to starting the demo.

Live demos are your opportunity to ask the presenter anything about the product or the company. Take advantage of your time with them and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is quite possible the presenter has demoed the system hundreds of times, making it easy for them to get into a rut and unintentionally breeze over a section that is important to your site. Be sure to ask them to spend a little more time on that section and clarify any parts that may be confusing.

4. Develop a grading system

Using the criteria you’ve deemed important to your site, determine how you will evaluate each vendor’s CTMS. Many sites opt for a scorecard approach, which provides a systematic way of grading each criterion.

A CTMS has a lot of interconnected pieces that may not be apparent right away, so it is best to wait until the end of each demo to do your scoring. This way, you’ll have a holistic view of the system’s capabilities.

5. Don’t compare one system to another

When looking for a CTMS, you’re likely viewing demos of at least 2-3 systems. Each system may have slightly different functionality or ways of accomplishing the same outcome, so it’s important that each CTMS is graded independently of the others.

Similarly, don’t compare your current system (whether that’s paper, excel, or another CTMS) to the product being demoed. Adopting a CTMS will likely mean a change in your workflows and processes. While change can be intimidating, in the end, a new system will allow more efficiency. Keep an open mind and see how each system approaches different functionalities.

Learn More

For more tips on choosing the best CTMS for your site, and to receive a free scorecard template, download our free eBook, Selecting a CTMS.

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