If there is anything that pharmaceutical companies and CROs are worried about with any clinical trial, it’s patient retention. There are various reasons why a patient wouldn’t complete a clinical trial, but patient fall-off for unknown reasons shouldn’t be one of them.
Keeping patient engagement high creates the most wins with patient retention. How does a CRO make that happen with limited resources to keep patient engagement going through to clinical trial completion? Is community building in clinical trials a better means of ensuring patient retention?
Patients who have reached the stage of any illness that necessitates them seeking a clinical trial that may offer help all have one thing in common; they feel alone. Aloneness comes with good reason; it’s hard to go through something challenging and feel like no one can relate to what you are going through. Clinical trials for most patients are the last stop on their hope for recovery. No one wants to feel like they have no one to turn to in those moments.
Community Building In Clinical Trials Will Boost Patient Well-Being Overall
No clinical trial promises success to any patient just because they are willing to participate. How can you keep them hopeful and engaged when the odds are stacked against them in some cases? Gathering trial participants around each other to share in hopes, fears, and helpful information is the best way to combat patient fall-off and boost patient retention.
It’s hard to find someone who engages with the Internet on a regular basis who isn’t in some kind of forum or group based on a common topic. Everyone wants to find people they relate to or who share a commonality. In these instances, what would normally serve to alienate becomes the reason to gather ‘round. Community building in clinical trials can provide that same meaningful connection for their trial participants.
Community building in clinical trials creates an opportunity for your trial participants to feel like they have more control over their circumstances. The power of the community cannot be underestimated. People feel like they have more meaning and purpose when they are engaging with a like-minded group.
Feelings of being alone in their illness will quickly dissipate when they start having connections with other people who are going through the same thing. This is especially true for trial participants who are being treated for something rare. The smaller the participant population, the greater the need for connection with others who are in the same boat. Getting these trial participants to bond with one another will greatly enhance the patient experience and increase patient retention dramatically.
Any 5 minute scan of literally any social media network will reveal one thing; someone asking a question and dozens responding with what they know about it. Many CROs face the challenge of getting information out in a timely fashion to trial participants who just need a common question answered. Letting the community help getting information out in a timely fashion also allows CROs to focus on other things. Community monitoring will easily allow for the ability to make sure that questions are answered correctly.
Community Building In Clinical Trials Allows CROs To “Listen”
Nestled into all that community communication is invaluable information for the CRO hosting it. Community forums can have keywords tagged as a way to alert community monitors about what might be in the process of being discussed so they can pay attention to important information.
Listening to the community gathers the kind of soft data that may otherwise be missed by clinical data collection:
- How does your community really feel about the trial?
- What do they tell each other about it that they aren’t sharing with the CRO?
- What are they talking about that would help you improve the patient experience?
- Are their new side effects being talked about that you haven’t seen before?
The list of information you can collect from community building in clinical trials is endless. What could you do with all the information collected from a community in your clinical trial?
Hosting A Clinical Trial Online That Is HIPAA Compliant
One thing that will never go away with community building in clinical trials is HIPAA compliance. You still need to maintain secure patient information practices. This creates an interesting problem for CROs who want to build online communities for their participants. Facebook is not HIPAA compliant. What kinds of community building platforms out there are HIPAA compliant?
eCare Vault is the first solution of its kind to be the collaboration, information sharing and community building tool that CROs have been looking for. Best news yet? It’s completely cloud-based and HIPAA compliant. No data storage issues and no security risks with eCare Vault. If you’d like to know more about how eCare Vault help you boost patient engagement and retention with community building in your next clinical trial, contact us today.