According to our 2018 survey of over 800 clinical research professionals, research organizations use an average of five or more research systems for clinical trial operations. To some, this is an alarming number of systems; but in today’s trial landscape, technology plays a critical role in clinical trial workflows. However, research systems are only effective if the users actually make good use of them. As such an integral part of the clinical trial process, it’s critical to ensure research systems are used effectively and staff feel comfortable working with them.
During the survey, we found that an individual’s positive or negative perception of a research system can have a significant influence on their productivity. Meaning, when end users believe research systems positively impact their individual productivity, it could have some effect on their actual productivity. Ultimately, you could see more return on investment from your research systems by simply encouraging positivity among your end users.
Use these three tips to help positively influence your staff’s perception of research systems and increase the value you see from technology at your organization.
1. Involve end users in the technology decision
Successful user adoption of a research systems starts well before you implement it. Involving end-users throughout the entire process, including during the decision-making period, can make a big difference in how comfortable your staff feels with the system you purchase.
Involving staff in the technology selection process will also get them excited about how a new system can benefit their individual and team workflows. If you’re in the beginning stages of selecting new research technology, determine who will be using the system and take the time to get to know their workflows so you have a deep understanding of how a system might help them.
2. Communicate the benefits of the system upfront
User adoption can be challenging, particularly when implementing new technology. For some, a new system just looks like another place they have to enter data. This mentality can slow the implementation process and potentially hurt adoption. In some cases, the user may operate the system improperly or inconsistently.
Combat negative perceptions by communicating benefits the system will bring to each stakeholder. Use your understanding of their current workflows and practices to present them with well-though-out ways in which the system will positively impact their productivity and clinical trial conduct. Reiterate this positivity during all stages of the technology lifecycle, including the purchasing, implementation and user adoption processes.
3. Facilitate effective end user training
Our survey showed staff training has the most significant influence on the level of end user comfort and general perception of a system. Results imply that those who receive a higher degree of training are more likely to perceive the system as having a positive impact. While this may seem like an obvious statement, many organizations still do not put sufficient emphasis on training.
Consistent continuing education for all end users is a critical step to seeing return on investment from a clinical research system. Remember that each of your research teams will use the technology differently, and training will need to be customized to fit the needs and workflows of the individual groups. Work with your technology vendor and do your best to ensure training is relevant to each user.
Get more insights
Our survey revealed a wealth of insights on the factors that influence the success of technology at research organizations. Download your copy of the 2018 State of Technology in Clinical Research report to learn what your peers have to say about technology’s impact on both their individual productivity and organizational conduct.