Development of a new drug is an expensive and time-consuming procedure. Any drug can be brought to market only after completion of successful clinical study about its benefits and side-effects. These studies are elaborate, detailed and many time long-term.
A clinical research or trial requires the co-operation and participation of patients through the complete duration. If patients drop out in between the results, and conclusions cannot be conducted and the study needs to be discontinued without any concrete results.
Patient recruitment for clinical trials is sometimes long and tedious. According to experts, nearly 80% of clinical trials fail to meet the enrolment timelines. In the past, the medical institutions in the United States did patient recruitment by carrying out advertising campaigns by hiring marketing experts.
Patient recruitment means having a patient to participate in a clinical trial or study. It has four steps.
- Patient Identification
- Patient recruitment
- Patient feasibility
- Patient survey
- Patient retention
Patient recruitments happen through a series of activities known as clinical trial flows-
Patient recruitment - Screening-Consent acquisition-Set on
Patient recruitment is a complicated process that involves physicians, trial professionals, research associates and staff and sponsors.
Patient retention is the subject’s engagement throughout the duration of the study. This requires effective and regular communication.
Reasons for low patient recruitment rates
- Tight timelines
- Ineffective and fragmented communications
Patient recruitment includes a variety of services provided by patient recruitment service providers. These are done to increase enrollment into clinical trials and studies. The patient recruitment industry is expanding fast at present. It is necessary to streamline the process to achieve faster, accurate timelines and accelerate patient recruitment.
Patient recruitment organizations identify the patients. This needs to be done by creating awareness. These companies conduct digital recruitment campaigns to search and engage the exact patients needed for clinical trials or research studies. This is done through proprietary machine-learning targeting methods across data aggregated from multiple channels like social media, mobile applications, online searches and health websites.
The companies help in updating eligibility or non-eligibility through customized prescreening forms.
To decide on patients these steps should be followed.
- The right Audience
- Deliver Impressions
- Analyzing- This involves correctly analyzing the data by finding out where the clicks have happened.
- Prescreening on websites
- Following up
Strategies for successful patient recruitment involve creating an effective plan and boost enrollment in the trials.
A detailed research is necessary before patient recruitment. It involves knowing the right target group or audience and creative a full profile of each patient. This will contain data about their condition, their requirement of a caretaker and what kind of relief they are looking for.
Once this is done the correct message can be created and delivered through right media channels, both online and offline. Social media marketing can also prove effective if the target audience is active on social media.
The next step is to enroll the patients and keeping them active in the study. At this time, regular communication is crucial. Apart from the in-person appointments and call scheduling researchers need to look for other ways to reach the patients.
Other ways of communication
- Call in between visits to find out how they feel, clear their doubts or help in any other way.
- Send monthly newsletters
- Send birthday cards
Careful planning, research, and effort are required to meet the recruitment goals. The accomplishment of any clinical trial depends on successful recruitment of patients and their commitment through the complete duration of the study.