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5 Key Strategies for Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment

March 10, 2023
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Clinical Trials
Clinical: Biopharma
Clinical: MedTech
A successful clinical trial depends on the recruitment and retention of patients, which can be challenging. Learn the strategies to implement in your study!

Are you interested in learning more about clinical trial patient recruitment strategies? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! A successful trial depends on the recruitment and retention of patients, which can be a challenging process, but this is an essential element for the completion of your trial.

One of the most important steps in developing and testing novel medical treatments is conducting a clinical study. Unfortunately, we can see numerous studies being closed or delayed due to poor recruitment.

Let’s review the best practices for recruiting patients for clinical trials, such as ways for identifying and contacting prospective participants, as well as strategies to keep them engaged throughout the whole duration of the clinical trial. We’ll also review how working with a therapeutically aligned contract research organization (CRO) for your study can alleviate some of the challenges you may encounter in your study’s patient recruitment journey.

Table of Contents:

  • 5 key strategies to consider for successful patient recruitment
  • How can a CRO like Proxima help with patient recruitment?

You've got a plan, a potential therapy, medicine, or device, and you're ready to start clinical trials. But do you really know what it takes to successfully bring your product to market? A patient-centric approach! Let's take a look at some of the best techniques for patient recruitment in clinical trials.

The 5 key strategies to consider for successful patient recruitment

1. Identify your patient population: Before you start recruiting patients, it's important to have a clear understanding of who you're targeting. This might involve identifying particular age groups, genders, or other demographic traits, along with the medical condition and treatment being studied.

2. Use a wide variety of recruitment methods: To increase your chances of success, it's advisable to use multiple methods for reaching potential clinical trial participants. This might include placing ads in local newspapers or on websites, working with patient advocacy groups or healthcare providers, or using social media to help spread the word.

3. Make it easy for potential participants to get information: When people are considering participating in a clinical trial, they will have questions. Whether it's through a dedicated website, a toll-free hotline, or in-person information sessions, it's important to make it as effortless as possible for them to get the information they need.

4. Offer incentives: Even though most people who participate in clinical trials do so because they want to promote medical research, it can be useful to provide other incentives to participants. This might involve receiving payment for their time and travel or receiving free medical attention or treatment.

5. Keep participants engaged: Once someone has decided to take part in a clinical trial, you now need to keep them motivated to stay in the trial. This could involve giving regular updates on the trial's progress, providing support and resources to help participants handle any challenges or adverse effects, and being sure to answer any questions or concerns they may have along the way.

It's also worth mentioning that there are a few things to avoid when it comes to patient recruitment in clinical trials. For example, it's important to ensure that you're not coercing or pressuring people into participating. You’ll also need to fully disclose all relevant information about the trial and any potential risks associated with their participation. Also be sure to consider cultural and language differences, making sure that trial materials and communications are accessible and understandable to all participants. 

Being proactive and working with a clinical trial partner early in the process can help to create a patient recruitment plan that tackles the recruitment barriers mentioned above.

How can a CRO like Proxima help with patient recruitment?

Choosing a knowledgeable and experienced CRO capable of leveraging the right relationships has a direct impact on patient recruitment. Proxima has experience in 27+ therapeutic areas for medical devices and drug development, so our team can quickly identify the needs and goals of your trial to then help select the most patient-centric clinical site for your study. Having a well-run, professional site means that patients will have more autonomy, conveniently accessible tools, and resources, and will be well-informed about their responsibilities and expectations. 

You need a capable CRO with strong site relationships that will provide you with open communication and trust, resulting in improved patient recruitment and retention, as well as trial outcomes.

We also help you put your protocol into action by helping you identify the study population, criteria, and recruitment objectives, as well as assisting you through the protocol submission process to the IRB. We can remove any barriers that stand in the way of a clinical trial's effective recruitment and success by combining our expertise in data administration, site partnerships, and patients' needs.

Overall, patient recruitment for your clinical trial will require careful thought and planning, but with the appropriate strategies in place, you can effectively enroll the patients you need on time. Simply following the recommended practices stated above will increase your chances of improving the field of medicine with speed and agility.