Preparing for Success: 3 Ways on How to Recruit Patients for Clinical Trials

Posted by: DaVita Clinical Research

Ever wonder why the same institutions are consistently being picked to participate in the latest cutting-edge clinical trials? The reason is simple they deliver, but how do they do it and what makes them stand out from the rest? There are three important factors to consider in patient recruitment.


Know What You’re Getting Into

Review the protocol of the potential study extensively and ask questions like: Can we enroll? What is expected of us? Can the team execute efficiently or are the procedures too much for the team to handle?  Does this study truly have the potential to benefit our patients? Will patients be interested? Remember CROs and Sponsors are tracking your results or lack of results, so a “No” to any of these questions could cause you to fall short of expectations and jeopardize future work.  Select clinical studies you’re confident you can perform on and more studies will often come your way.

First Thing First 

Regulatory and “Red tape” can be difficult to navigate but is essential to site activation. Most institutions let the CRO drive this process but the fastest way to recruitment is to anticipate and have a plan. Be prepared with your recruitment locations, credentials of your team, pre-screening, assign roles, and responsibilities to specific study tasks. Set a timeline for staff training for EDC, IVRS, protocol, and other study-specific training requirements.  The best institutions do this every time and that’s why they are the first to recruit.

Inside and Outside Recruitment

Patients willing to sign up for a clinical trial recruitment can be few and far between. Only a handful in your practice may even consider it. Understand who those patients are and recruit within that group first. Focus on your patient pool, be ready to expand to new locations, explore alternative shifts and hire staff targeted towards those shifts. Consider building a referral network outside your practice with other healthcare providers and practices. Let them know your passion for clinical research and commitment to safety (this is crucial in research). Open up your outreach potential by promoting what you are working on and don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments.

Although there are many factors of successful recruitment strategies these three keys are consistently used by the best institutions to insure their recruitment success and ultimately consideration for future clinical research.