What’s in a CTMS?

Dawn Burke
November 25th, 2014

Three key questions for evaluating a clinical trial management system

If you’re on the hunt for a clinical trial management system (CTMS), there are many things you’ll undoubtedly need to consider such as “Who will be using the system?” and “How much does it cost?”  However, it is important to look at the specific functionality as well, to ensure that it meets the precise needs of your research operations.  Here are some questions that you may want to consider before evaluating a CTMS:

What is the goal of the CTMS?

Make sure you consider who will be using the system and how they hope to benefit from it.  From this, you can set some initial goals.  Whether it’s making life easier for coordinators, better management of finances, or having insight with more in-depth reporting, your search for the ideal CTMS will have better direction if this is determined prior to evaluating systems.  The goal may have many components, but it is important you start your search with an end result in mind.

What functionality is essential?

Based on your goals, you can determine what functionality your organization would deem indispensable.  It is also important at this point to recognize what functions are needs versus wants, as it will play a role in the evaluation of each CTMS system.  It can be particularly beneficial to map out a typical protocol life cycle and determine specifically what tools would be useful to your operations.  If you evaluate a system that is very robust, but only a small portion of it would really be used, you may want to consider a scaled down option.  In this case, knowing your needs in advance could potentially save you the expense of acquiring a large, overly complex system.  On the other hand, if your requirements are great, you’ll need to make sure the system fully addresses those necessities.

What is your growth plan?

Consider where you see your organization going in both the short and long term future.  Most organizations strive to increase profitability. One of the best ways to do this is to increase the number of studies and the size of studies conducted.  Therefore, it may be important for you to find a system that is scalable with these needs and can handle more complex trials.  A CTMS vendor that is continually improving upon the system and offering new complementary services might be a better option for your growth strategy.

Be sure to consider these questions before you start searching for a clinical trial management system.  For more tips and tricks to both selecting and implementing a system at your site, consider attending the upcoming webinar, How to Select and Implement at CTMS for your Research Site.

Information from the above article was extracted from the eBook, “Selecting a CTMS.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published on January 7, 2013.


2 thoughts on “What’s in a CTMS?

  1. We had a study manager and clinical conductor which were hefty cost for our site, but we did end up using them because they took too much time to utilize. At a few industrial meetings we heard the same scenario from other sites. We are in need of CTMS and EMR which comply with Fed and State payment System.
    With regards,

    1. Susan,
      Based on the size of your patient and research operations the choices can vary. If you looking for a new CTMS please contact Brian Wulff (608 826 6002), our director of customer engagement, and he can learn more about you and make some suggestions and introduce to our product experts if you are interested in our products.


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