Nothing happens in a successful clinical trial until patient recruitment happens. There is no clinical trial without trial participants. It’s as simple as that. Well, sort of. The patient recruitment efforts we make are time-intensive and costly, but it’s only half the battle. Keeping trial participants engaged through the end of the trial is a whole other story.
There are usually only a handful of things that influence a patient to see if they would benefit from a clinical trial. The catalyst usually being that other treatments have not worked for them. If the primary driver is either this works or nothing, then you have a pretty good shot at recruiting them. That is, as long as they fit the criteria.
A Successful Clinical Trial Involves Silent Stakeholders
We know that keeping a trial participant involved means keeping the communication going. Trial participants have various expectations of what communication in a clinical trial should look like. Trying to keep participant satisfaction at an all-time high takes effort and diligence. Even with all the best efforts being made, you can still lose your trial participant if you are not considering all the silent stakeholders in your trial participant’s life that could be derailing your efforts.
Trial participation may or may not have the blessing of the patient’s doctor. When dealing with patients, they will come into their trial with whatever experiences they had when they discussed it with their doctor. The trial participant’s doctor may be a silent stakeholder in the patient’s care that could influence whether or not they stay in your trial. If a trial doesn’t work out due to increased illness or side effects, that’s one thing. If a patient is not going to complete your trial because their doctor has misgivings about your particular trial or just clinical trials in general, that’s another.
CROs are not privy to the conversations that their trial participants have with people outside of the trial. CROs are constantly overcoming the challenges their patients have with outside influences all the time; whether they realize it or not.
Patients also have loving family members and friends who help care for them. They may also come to the table of your trial participants’ care with their own thoughts and opinions on your clinical trial. How well they are informed about the clinical trial their loved one is involved in determines their level of comfort with it. Excellent communication with your trial participant is absolutely essential to them having great information to share with the people who care about them. Remember, when a loved one has a question about a clinical trial your trial participant is involved in, they are not calling you to ask questions. If communication with your patient is not high, it will be perfectly clear to the loved ones involved in their care.
Trial Participants Need To Share Information With Silent Stakeholders
How well does your organization process and handle information sharing for the trial participant now? Is there any? HIPAA presents many challenges with how to share information outside of your clinical trial. There are also trial challenges as to what can be shared on both sides. Still, your trial participants need to be able to convey information to their silent stakeholders for this to be a successful clinical trial for them and you.
It’s the challenges of information sharing to silent stakeholders that could put your trial participant at risk of leaving your clinical trial. Making sure that everyone involved has what they need to feel good about participating is one of the keys to a successful clinical trial.
Managing information flow and access is the best way to keep HIPAA intact and still allow your trial participants to share information about their trial to the silent stakeholders who are asking for it.
Email is convenient but it is not HIPAA compliant communication. Printing things out to hand to your trial participant is fine, but it can get lost or destroyed. With paper, you still don’t know who they have shared the information to or what that person needs to know about it. Information sharing is as complex as the medical needs of the trial participants. How do we solve this conundrum?
Including Stakeholders Makes For A Successful Clinical Trial
How do we make a silent stakeholder silent no more? When we include them in the communication in the first place. Many silent stakeholders in your trial participant’s life would love to have a voice in how the clinical trial is affecting the trial participant and their lives as well. They’d like to be able to ask questions about your clinical trial that would make them feel better about their loved ones or patients participating as well.
The only way to balance information security, transparency and sharing with people inside and outside your trial is with a tool that allows you to do it all from one place. eCare Vault is the first solution of its kind to combine communication, collaboration, and HIPAA security in one single sign-on platform that allows everyone to participate who is impacting your trial participants’ success. Being able to collectively and easily communicate is an easy win to ensure trial completions. If you’d like to know more about how eCare Vault can increase your communication with trial participants and their stakeholders for greater trial completion ratio, contact us today for a free consultation.