Clinical research sites have a lot to gain from incorporating decentralized clinical trials into their practices. Though the technology is commonly touted as a benefit to sponsors and patients, there are just as many advantages for research sites. As the addition of virtual visits becomes more widely adopted across the industry, sites that engage early stand to reap the most rewards.
“Innovative trial designs are a high priority in FDA plans,” wrote acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless in a recent agency-wide internal email. Sharpless told staffers the agency will continue to push for the use of platform trials, basket studies, adaptive trials and pragmatic randomized controlled trials that will save money and time on research and development.1 Fortunately, information on the approach, process, benefits, and adoption rates of DCT is readily available to anyone looking for clinical research site training to prepare for this transition.
Site Efficiencies Gained with Decentralized Clinical Trials (DCT)
There are many efficiencies and conveniences gained through the use of a virtual trial platform. For example, conducting remote visits in place of some in-office visits eliminates the time spent on in-office patient logistics. In a recent survey jointly conducted by VirTrial and the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS) in-person visits were reported as one of the most time-intensive tasks, with the majority of clinicians stating that each patient typically engages with two to four staff members at every visit2. Shifting some in-person visits to remote visits eliminates much of that excess time requirement. Remote visits also reduce time spent on administrative tasks such as scheduling, and rescheduling, appointments by replacing much of that effort with automated text messages and/or emails.
Practical Benefits of Using a DCT Platform
In addition to increased efficiencies, quantitative benefits are accessible through telehealth platforms that are otherwise not available.
- Reporting dashboard – monitor study drug or visit compliance at a glance so you can take action when and where needed to prevent protocol deviations.
- Real-time reporting of Adverse Events – access more accurate and timely reporting of data.
- Multi-language support – communicate in the native language of your patient with built-in multi-language support and access to live medically certified translators.
- Up to 6-way calling – increase call productivity by including all involved parties in one visit including caregivers, children, and specialists.
- Hybrid model – take advantage of the flexibility to see patients in-person when needed and remotely when in-person visits are not necessary.
- Automated reminders – set up automated appointment reminders to communicate with patients and save staff time calling.
- Direct line of communication – share instructions and answer questions within the app for easy patient access and security.
Clinical Research Site Training
Training is available today on general telemedicine etiquette and guidelines, as well as how to utilize a virtual trial platform. VirTrial’s training program includes four modules clinical research professionals complete to earn a Virtual Trial Capable certificate. Sites also receive a Virtual Trial Capable badge they can use to highlight to sponsors and CROs they are prepared to conduct hybrid decentralized clinical trials. This certification may increase the number of trials your site conducts each year.
Access VirTrial’s clinical research site training on becoming Virtual Trial Capable and stay ahead of the curve. Enjoy the benefits of using a virtual trial platform to improve communications with patients, enhance protocol compliance and study retention, and save valuable staff time.
1 – CenterWatch, July 2019
2– Impact Assessment of Decentralized Clinical Trial (DCT) Awareness within the Clinical Research Industry