Navigating the Challenges within the Clinical Research Industry

Anna Hrovat-Staedter
July 12th, 2017

The clinical research industry is ever-evolving, as are the challenges and solutions that accompany innovation. Forte’s recent survey of over 900 clinical research professionals revealed some tasks that are universally challenging across multiple roles and organizations. While emerging technological solutions and industry advancements have worked to address common challenges, per the 2017 State of the Clinical Research Industry Report, there is more to be done to improve research operations. Below are three comments we received in the survey that bring to light multiple challenges within the clinical research industry.


This participant highlights the hurdle of centralization that many participants reported. For some organizations, efforts to improve begin by finding the right tools to facilitate greater efficiency. While vendor solutions work to address these challenges, the influx of solutions have introduced additional operational hurdles. Per the survey, the most common technology and services used across all organizations are Electronic Data Capture systems (78% of all respondents), Clinical Trial Management Systems (63% of all respondents) and Participant Payment Systems (37% of all respondents).

In addition, many survey participants reported using varying combinations of systems to address different operational aspects. Findings reveal 10% of respondents reported using five or more different technology systems. There was little significance found in the relationship between the number of systems used and the reduction of pain felt conducting tasks. As the participant notes, it is not the number of systems but instead the way the systems interact with each other that has an important influence on reducing frustrations. As more solutions become available, it’s essential to identify who within your organization requires which tools to achieve success, and ensure those solutions communicate and complement each other.

Not only does the lack of integration between systems create challenges for those conducting clinical research, the lack of dedication to how systems are used, increases those frustrations. System implementation and user adoption greatly influence the success of a technological solution on your clinical trial operations. Leadership and other decision-makers within your organization ultimately influence the impact of a solution on your operations. Per our respondent, an individual’s relationship with technology is just as important as the technology itself. No matter the solution, dedicated leadership and staff can work to reduce frustration and increase return on solution investments.


Other industry hurdles rely on improving relationships between stakeholders and understanding resource allocation and regulations. Due to the complexity of conducting clinical trials, many requirements and tasks hinge on other tasks completed outside your organization’s or role’s control. Communication between technology and industry stakeholders can reduce trial delays, decrease revenue loss and dedicate appropriate resources to ensure more efficient trials and operations.

Watch our free, on-demand webinar “Top 3 Challenges in Clinical Research and How to Address Them” to learn more strategies to help your organization tackle the industry’s most pressing challenges and explore how your research operations compare to those of your peers.

Free On-Demand Webinar: Top 3 Challenges in Clinical Research and How to Address Them

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