How to Save Time with a Clinical Trial Recruitment Plan Template

Clinical trial patient recruitment is a time-consuming, pricy, and critical part of getting a new trial off the ground. The idea of spending more time to create a detailed plan in advance may not sound particularly appealing, but using a template can actually speed up recruitment timelines in the long run.

By using a clinical trial recruitment plan template, you can research your patient population, list potential benefits, and draft outreach copy all in the same place. From there, you can also plan out your outreach channels and prepare for potential roadblocks your campaign may face. Plus, planning ahead gives you the chance to find any errors in your outreach material before your IRB does, too.

Here are a few more reasons to do your future self a favor and get started on a detailed recruitment plan:

Anticipate challenges you may face in your recruitment efforts

Researching your patient population is the first step in putting together a successful outreach campaign. Through this process, you can also take note of any red flags you come across that may impact recruitment. Are any of your inclusion or exclusion criteria going to be particularly challenging to target for in your outreach? How aware of clinical research is your patient population? How do symptoms affect daily life for patients – will they have physical difficulties getting to your site? Being aware of challenges in advance can help you plan ahead and create backup plans to deal with issues as they arise, rather than being caught off guard in the middle of your campaign.

Decide on tests you'll want to run later in your campaign in advance

When optimizing digital outreach or other approaches, the factors that you optimize for will change throughout your campaign. For example, while at first you may judge the success of an ad based on how many clicks it receives, once you have more data on how patients are converting, you may choose to promote the ad that has the highest rate of patients who consent into your trial.

Because you have to submit your materials to your Institutional Review Board (IRB) before your trial launches, it's helpful to plan for variations in ad copy to test throughout your campaign. If you don't, you'll ultimately take more time to either attempt to re-submit to your IRB, or find creative ways to work with what you have. By planning out messaging and targeting tests you're interested in running in advance, you'll already have all of the materials you need for the duration of your campaign.

Get feedback from partners and patients to improve how you reach patients

If you plan out your recruitment approaches in advance, you'll have more time to seek feedback from sources who can help you finetune your strategy. After you've drafted a few language options for specific outreach channels, consider consulting with patient advocates, nonprofit organizations, or doctors who specialize in the condition for additional help on how to reach patients. These groups may offer special insight around the relationship your patient population has with clinical research. You can also learn more about common challenges patients deal with, which can give you ideas about how to best position your trial in advertisements.

Save time with your IRB submission

Let's face it: The old adages about planning ahead are true. If you give yourself enough time to thoroughly proofread your outreach materials – and confirm they adhere to clinical trial advertising guidelines – you'll hopefully avoid back-and-forths with edits from your IRB. By planning out your targeting approaches in advance, you'll also be able to double check that you have language that speaks to the different target audience groups and benefits you would like to address.

Ready to start planning out your next campaign? Download our free clinical trial recruitment plan template below.