5 Benefits of Site Follow-Up Services to Speed Patient Recruitment

A significant amount of effort goes into recruiting a patient for a clinical trial, including creating IRB-approved materials, reaching the patient population, and setting up a variety of ads to find what performs best. But once a patient expresses interest in a trial and is screened online, it can be difficult to see what steps the patient takes next – unless your patient recruitment company offers site follow-up services. These services offer recruitment campaign managers insight into what happens after a patient is passed along to a research site to take the next step.

Site follow up allows your recruitment team to take control of the entire process and ensure that your trial isn't held up by bottlenecks at the site level, helping interested patients enroll in your trial sooner.

Learn about the benefits of site follow-up services below:

1.The trial team can identify the highest and lowest-performing sites and prioritize targeting.

In any trial, some research sites will perform better than others, whether because of staff resources or the physical location of the site. When a recruitment company offers site follow-up services, it's easier to note which sites are randomizing the most patients into your trial. Then, your agency may choose to send more ad traffic to that geographic location to prioritize referrals to the top-performing sites. This approach can help you meet your enrollment targets faster than you could if you had less insight into individual site performance.

2. Flag research sites who need additional support to follow up with referrals.

Besides sending more traffic to well-performing sites, site follow-up services also allow recruitment companies to pause referrals if a site becomes overwhelmed. If a site receives a large number of referrals at once or experiences a staffing issue, it can help to pause referrals for a time so they can catch up and respond to patients. This helps reduce frustration for patients waiting to hear about next steps.

3. Make sure sites have the same patient follow-up strategy.

Before a new recruitment campaign launches, a company that offers site services can coordinate all of your sites to ensure they're following best practices for connecting with your referrals. For example, while one site may both call and email a patient to set up an in-person screening, another site may only call. Your recruitment company can determine the best approach and offer site trainings to make sure patients are able to move through the process as quickly as possible.

4. Create a channel for two-way feedback.

Another benefit of close collaboration with research sites is the opportunity for sites and recruitment companies to exchange insights into the trial. For example, at Antidote, during a trial we'll ask sites for more information on common reasons patients are screen failing, and ask if there's anything we can do differently to improve referrals or help them support patients. Regular feedback between sites and your recruitment company can help speed the process by quickly identifying roadblocks that are preventing patients from joining the trial. It also helps sites feel more engaged with your recruitment company and involved in the process.

5. Improve the patient experience.

While it's important for any patient recruiter to keep sites and sponsors happy, the patient is the most important part of any trial. Timely follow-ups can help improve the patient experience, and increase the likelihood that they will join the trial. It's frustrating for patients if they express interest in a trial, but don't hear about next steps in a timely manner. Sites can also share with your recruitment company whether patients have any confusion or misconceptions around your trial that may stem from the company's advertising. With site follow-up services, patients have a seamless experience, and you can reach your trial goals faster.

Learn how Antidote accelerates clinical trial patient recruitment through our partner network and digital marketing strategies.