Top Clinical Research Metrics for 5 Critical Questions

April Schultz
January 18th, 2018

Appropriately tracking and utilizing operational analytics can help your research organization manage the new challenges of today’s trial landscape and maintain more effective and successful clinical trial processes. However, building an analytics strategy requires considerable planning upfront to ensure you’re measuring the right operational performance for your organizational goals.

The first step to determining which metrics your organization should track is to know the questions you’re trying to answer. This means taking a close look at your research practices and determining what answers could be most helpful to you. With a solid understanding of your fundamental metrics, you can dig deeper into individual processes and measure performance metrics that help you address areas in need of improvement. In this infographic we explore how the right metrics can help you answer five critical operational questions.

For a deeper dive into how you can get the most out of your analytics strategy, download our free analytics eBook. 

infographic Top Metrics for 5 Critical Questions

Text Version

There are many benefits to operational performance metrics. Tracking the operational performance of your research program allows you to:

  • Monitor progress of open studies
  • Use data to inform process decisions and changes
  • Assess performance trends over time
  • Streamline communication between all stakeholders
  • Identify processes and steps in need of improvement
  • Answer strategic operational questions

The following are metrics to answer five critical questions:

1. Which of my studies are failing to achieve enrollment targets?

Why is this critical? If you aren’t enrolling participants, you’re losing money, wasting valuable staff time and increasing staff turnover. How can metrics help? Performance metrics allow you to monitor accrual, course correct to avoid a major loss and assess enrollment feasibility.

The top metrics to use to help answer this question are:

  • Accrual-to-date vs. target amount
  • Days since last participant enrolled

2. Which studies are currently in the process of study start-up and how are they progressing towards activation?

Why is this critical? Delays in study activation leads to gaps in trial processes, lost revenue and fewer studies from sponsors. How can metrics help? Performance metrics allows you to:

  • Identify commonly delayed steps
  • Pinpoint cause of problem
  • Estimate more feasible timelines
  • Reduce time to activation
  • Track billable time during study start-up

The top metrics to help answer this question are:

  • Contract receipt to execution turnaround
  • IRB submission to approval

3. Am I getting a representative sampling of my catchment area?

Why is this critical? Research organizations are responsible (and required) to have a representative sampling of trial participants by location, gender, race and ethnic status. How can metrics help? Performance metrics confirms the research conducted is diverse, effectively serves your community and helps fulfill NIH grant funding reporting requirements.

The top metrics to help answer this question are:

  • Participant ethnic status by protocol
  • Diversity of participants over time

4. How much staff time (effort) is going into activating a new study?

Why is this critical? Too often, sites are not reimbursed for all study-related time and effort, incur non-refunded costs for pre-screening and oversight, losing valuable time and money. How can metrics help? Effort tracking makes sure you’re reimbursed for all study-related efforts, objectively negotiate study budgets and effectively allocate resources for future studies.

The top metrics to help answer this question are:

  • Staff time spent on protocol per task
  • Individual staff time spent on activation tasks per protocol

5. How has accrual within a specific department performed over time?

Why is this critical? At the leadership level, you need to manage the performance of different departments, oversee progress towards organizational goals and ensure departments are equipped for unique needs. How can metrics help? Performance metrics allow you to compare performance between groups, see how the research portfolio has grown over grant periods and confirm grant funding is used effectively.

The top metrics to help answer this question are:

  • Percent accrual per department
  • Time to activation per department

Building an effective analytics strategy at your research organization leads to strong impacts in your research operations, improving overall trial performance. However, it’s critical to take the necessary steps to set up your strategy for success and avoid common hurdles. Download a copy of our free eBook, Analytics in Clinical Research: Using Data to Inform Your Research Operations to learn best practices for building, maintaining and getting the most benefit from an analytics strategy at your research organization.

How can your site get started?

Download your copy of our free eBookAnalytics in Clinical Research: Using Data to Inform Research Operations, to learn how to manage the challenges of today’s trial landscape and maintain more effective clinical trial processes using operational analytics.

How can your site get started?

Download your copy of our free eBookAnalytics in Clinical Research: Using Data to Inform Research Operations, to learn how to manage the challenges of today’s trial landscape and maintain more effective clinical trial processes using operational analytics.

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Analytics in Clinical Research eBook

Manage the challenges of today's trial landscape and maintain more effective clinical trial processes

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