The relationship between sites and sponsors may not always be a smooth one. Sites can often become frustrated with sponsor requirements and expectations, while sponsors may also find dealing with multiple sites on a research study difficult and inefficient. However, maintaining a healthy site-sponsor relationship is critical to effectively conducting clinical research.
A strong relationship between a research site and a sponsor can improve activation timelines, ensure smooth trial conduct and help build relationships for future studies. Both sides can contribute to relationship building by offering greater visibility into their operations to promote the efficiency of clinical trials.
What Sites Can Do
By measuring site performance metrics, sites can better identify what parts of their processes are causing delays. Business intelligence solutions like Forte Insights can help sites visualize their operational data to further analyze study activation timelines, underperforming protocols, or monitor for low accruing studies.
Work Toward Meeting Sponsor Expectations
Whether a sponsor has specific requirements for their participating sites, or a site has goals for their interactions with sponsors, it’s important to measure progress toward those benchmarks and work toward improving them. Use this site-sponsor relationship scorecard worksheet to help visualize your site’s performance.
What Sponsors Can Do
The onus of responsibility for expediting clinical trial activity does not lie solely with the sites. Sponsors also need to hold themselves accountable for optimizing their performance with sites. Initiatives like Forte’s Sponsor Scorecard allow sites to quantify sponsor performance and have data-informed discussions with them about how they compare to other sponsors with which the site is working.
Oversee Site Performance
Historically, sponsors have monitored the progress of their studies at research institutions through various manual and inefficient means. A sponsor may request accrual data from a site, which in turn requires the site to generate a report and send it to the sponsor, which the sponsor must then analyze. This process must be repeated for each of the sites participating in the study, and for each of the studies the sponsor is conducting. Forte’s Study Progress pilot is working to automate this process by pulling data from a site’s CTMS to give sponsors more direct oversight into trial performance.
What Vendors Can Do
Develop Integrated Technologies
The clinical research industry is unique in that everyone is largely working together toward a common goal: developing or improving the prevention, detection and treatment of a variety of illnesses. Clinical research technology vendors play a part in that common goal by developing solutions that communicate with one another to promote clinical trial efficiency.
Bridge the Gap
While sites and sponsors often have a relationship in the clinical setting, they may not have as many discussions on solving problems in the industry as a whole. Vendors can play an important part in bringing the two stakeholders to the table to discuss how technology can help them strengthen their relationships.
How Organizations Can Help
Whether you’re part of a research site or a sponsor organization, you can help impact the clinical research industry. Become involved in collaborative discussions, such as Forte’s Onsemble community and conference, adopt new technologies and upgrade current technologies to better enable cross-technology integration and efficiency, and encourage others in the industry to come to the table for important discussions.