The clinical trial landscape continues to become more and more competitive for clinical research sites. Standing out from the crowd is now essential to get your site noticed by sponsors and CROs and ultimately gain more study opportunities. So, what are the best ways to get your site selected for more clinical trials? According to successful sites and experts in the industry, some of the best strategies can be summed up with these four tips:
1. Know Your Site
One tip for building a good reputation as a site is to know your recruitment capabilities so you can deliver on your accrual goals. Recruitment is critical to the success of a clinical trial. Therefore, your track record in this area will significantly impact your site’s probability of being selected for future trials. Before you take on a trial, be sure you have access to the right patient population.
Adam Chasse, MHA, Chief Operating Officer at RxTrials, a network of premier clinical research sites, suggests, “It is critical for today’s sites to use technology to their advantage to identify and contact potential subjects.”
Many sites benefit from building a patient registry. A good registry will help you identify patients who may be suited to the requirements of a trial with search tools that match protocol requirements to patient information. Some clinical trial management systems (CTMS) have integrated patient registry functionality, which further streamlines this process.
2. Discover Opportunities
When discussing strategies, one workshop attendee at a Site Solutions Summit event shared her recommendations for opening doors to more study opportunities. “Get to the right person and sell yourself. Talk about your database, recruitment capabilities, number of doctors, certifications of coordinators, etc. Get the keywords out that you have a quality database and methodology,” she said.
This advice illustrates an important emphasis on business development, something that some sites do better than others. Business development can be time consuming and require special skills, but sites that devote resources to this function have better long-term success in building their study pipelines.
3. Educate Prospects
One way to educate prospects about your site’s capabilities and market your site is to develop a digital presence. Jennifer Whitlock, Vice President at Clinical Site Services (CSS), a GlobalSite Performance Company with services focused on managing the clinical trial patient enrollment process, points out that focusing your efforts in two key areas—your website and social media—can help make this a more manageable endeavor.
Breaking this down even further, Whitlock recommends, “Designing and writing your website should be done with two key audiences in mind: (1) potential participants and (2) sponsors/CROs. You will need to make sure your content and design speaks to both groups, as their reasons for visiting your website will greatly differ.”
In regards to social media, gaining a foothold is often best accomplished by keeping one key goal in mind: to have meaningful interactions with your audience.
4. Demonstrate Excellence
What does your site perform well and where could it improve? This may seem like a straightforward question, but sites that rely on anecdotal experience alone are missing a valuable opportunity to improve their operations and gain a competitive advantage. This opportunity centers on tracking metrics across a site to effectively assess where operations are strong or where they are lacking and in need of improvement.
For some sites, metrics have become synonymous with the mandated collection of seemingly arbitrary data for reporting to CROs and sponsors. However, the true value of metrics relates to their original intended purpose, measuring operational performance in order to improve internal processes. In clinical research this can be highly beneficial when applied where the work is being conducted — at the sites.
In ”A Case for Site-Centric Operational Metrics,” from the August 2012 edition of The Monitor, Henry Durivage, PharmD, et. al., point out the business advantage of promoting a site’s strengths:
“Identifying areas where a site has a very strong competitive advantage can be highly beneficial for securing additional trials and for eliminating wasted effort. For example, a site that has a proven track record in successfully accruing to geriatric trials should advertise this fact when wooing sponsors of trials with this target subject community. Likewise, this site should probably decline participation in pediatric trials.”
The four tips above can help you market your site’s capabilities and strengths to improve its chances of getting selected for more clinical trials. But this is just the beginning. For the 10 top tips from experts and successful sites, download the eBook “Site Success: 10 Ways to Build Your Site’s Study Pipeline.”