For study sponsors, maintaining engagement with your sites during a clinical trial is absolutely essential. It is crucial for achieving targets for both patient enrollment and retention, which in turn determine whether a trial is ultimately successfully completed or a failure.
The benefits of staying engaged with your sites are numerous: Firstly, good site engagement motivates your sites to improve performance. When relationships are closer, they will be more aware that they are a priority and so will show more urgency and commitment in their work. Secondly, improving your site engagement will improve the effectiveness of your trial because sites have a greater understanding of what you are expecting them to do when you are keeping them engaged. Problems can also be addressed more quickly and simply when there is a constant dialogue.
Finally, getting sites invested in the outcomes of your trial from the very beginning will improve their performance levels across the board through enrolment, participation and retention, because sites will feel a greater sense of ownership when properly engaged.
But how can site engagement be improved? Here’s some strategies that have been proven most effective:
1. Equip Your Sites
For your sites to effectively carry out the job required of them, it is important that they have all necessary tools and advice possible with which to do their work. It is important to regularly check in with each site and ensure they have all the materials they need, and more importantly, that they know how to us them. Be sure that you have open lines of communication so that sites always know where to direct any questions they may have.
To ensure that recruitment and enrolment periods are successful, you can also provide reference materials for sites help them to effectively carry out these activities, and training on whichever method of recruitment you are using.
2. Send a Newsletter
Newsletters are great for making sure your sites stay informed and up to date through the duration of your trial. Aim for regular bulletins, whether that’s weekly biweekly or monthly at the least. When planning your newsletter, be sure to include relevant and informative information. Recruitment and retention tips, for example, will help improve performance in these areas.
3. Survey Your Sites
Engagement is a two-way process, for your efforts to be effective, your sites need to feel like you are listening to them as well. Show that you value their input by asking them to complete mid-trial surveys to gather their feedback and iron out any issues. This should also help to highlight any potential improvements.
4. Create competition
Competition can be healthy. Encouraging gentle, friendly competition amongst your sites when it comes to results is a great way to boost cross-site performance levels. You can publish figures for enrolment and retention in your newsletters and provide extra motivation to your sites that will motivate them to improve their processes and optimise performance.
Ultimately, an effective approach towards site engagement is one that understands what you expect from your sites and then picture ways they can do thi even better and work with them to do this. Thinking in this way is the true key to improving site engagement, patient enrolment and retention.
If you want to learn how CitrusLabs can help you with increasing your Site Engagement, please get in touch.