4 Signs You Need to Switch CTMS Vendors

Kayla Fargo
August 4th, 2016

In the excitement and perplexity of selecting a clinical trial management system (CTMS), it’s possible you ended up with a system that isn’t right for your site. Perhaps your CTMS doesn’t have all the functionality you need, or maybe it has more than you need and is being under-utilized. Maybe it’s too hard to use and your staff members never fully adopted it. A positive and beneficial vendor relationship is also important to the success of your site’s CTMS. Are you sure your vendor is providing the best possible support and training?

Here, are four signs that indicate it’s time to start looking for a new CTMS.

1. You’re limited by the number of protocols you can enter.

Some vendors price their systems based on the number of protocols, and others price by the number of users. While neither pricing model is right or wrong, you must decide what is best for your site. If you’re looking to expand and conduct more trials in the future, you need a system that is scalable. Consider the cost associated with increasing the number of protocols in the system. Note that a protocol-based pricing agreement may also require you to wait to close one study before you can begin another.

2. You aren’t really using the system.

As mentioned above, you may not be fully using your current system because there are components of it that you just don’t need. During the initial selection of your CTMS, it may have seemed like a good idea to have extra features, and perhaps your vendor pushed you towards this end. However, too many unused features can be detrimental to your bottom line. Why pay for something you’re not using? Similarly, if the system is too complicated, you may find it too hard to use and avoid entering any data into it.

Ultimately, the easier it is to navigate a CTMS, the more likely it is to be used. If you’re using a CTMS that is too complex or includes unnecessary features, it is time to assess the needs of your site. You might benefit from consulting with a different CTMS vendor who can direct you towards the most appropriate features for your end users. This will lead to a more user-friendly CTMS experience and can increase your site’s ROI.

3. You aren’t receiving the support you need, when you need it.

A CTMS is a significant piece of software, and improper implementation and adoption can decrease the system’s benefit for your site. It’s essential that your vendor provide support throughout the entire system selection, implementation and adoption processes. Your vendor should also provide quality training for all end users and be available to answer questions or concerns as they arise. If your current vendor’s support structure is less than ideal, it may be time to consider a change. Unanswered questions or incomplete answers can delay progress at your site, and ultimately cost you time and money.

4. You can’t view the reports you need.

Any data you put into a CTMS should be easily accessible, whether you plan to export the data or wish to view it as a report within the system. Reporting is vital to the success of clinical trials, as it provides visibility into the status of your research operations, be it positive or negative.

Many systems have “out of the box” reports that come with the CTMS, but in some cases, a custom report is needed. Does your current vendor provide the ability to create the custom reports you require? Is it easy to create custom reports, or will the vendor create them for you? If you aren’t able to get the reports you need, it may be time to consider another vendor.