Please login to the form below

3 ways to increase patient retention rates in clinical trials

Retention rates are falling in clinical trials. Yes, it is a bit disheartening. But there are some straightforward things you can do to turn it around.

Firstly, let’s think about why there are challenges in patient retention. Well, they mostly come under two core barriers:

  • Patients and carers end up forgotten about once the recruitment box is ticked
  • Study designs aren’t patient or carer centric

So, what can we do about improving patient retention?

As an industry, we need to do more to make patients and carers feel valued when they dedicate their time to clinical trials. We need to recognise each person as an individual, with their own unique preferences and needs. We need to design studies with patients and carers at the core. And once we start to do this, we start optimising the patient experience, which will undoubtedly up the chances of a patient choosing to stay in a study.

Feeling convinced? Here’s what to do next.

Step 1. Gain insights

When it comes to patient retention, one of the biggest mistakes sponsors can make is assuming they know how patients feel and think. All without actually speaking to them. So how do they know if the clinical study is really going to help their patients, without their insights?

Gathering patient insights is best done as early as possible, but it’s never too late! Surveys, focus groups and social media listening are just three examples of how you can get the insights you need at every stage of your clinical study. By speaking with patients and carers, you can gain their perspective on how they are really affected by a condition and what outcomes are most meaningful to them. You can identify patient personas and how you can tailor your retention strategy to meet everyone’s needs. Plus, you can establish if simple changes can be made to your study design to make it more patient centric and therefore easier for patients to take part.

Step 2. Analyse

Great, you’ve got the insights you need. Now take a closer look, because these will tell you how you can boost retention rates. Potential insights you may collect are:

  • Patients who previously took part or left your study didn’t feel valued.
  • Carers didn’t feel listened to and weren’t asked for feedback.
  • Patients and carers received no updates on the results of the study.
  • Your study design has too many or too frequent visits.
  • Procedures (such as scans) occur too often in the study schedule.

Step 3. Act

As important as it is to gather insights, if you don’t do anything with them, what’s the point? Once you’ve heard from patients and carers, make a change. Actions you could take based on the example insights include:

  • Simply say ‘thank you’ - encourage a grateful mentality among site staff and distribute thank you cards.
  • Regularly ask for feedback from carers on their experience of the study.
  • Share timely updates on the study, while considering how each individual prefers to receive information e.g. do you know if your patient prefers a newsletter by email or post?
  • Reconsider your study design and decentralise. Perhaps more visits could take place at home, or patients could use technology to report outcomes remotely.
  • ·Reduce the number of invasive procedures to remove patient (and site) burden.

Ready to overcome your study’s patient retention challenges?

COUCH Health are here to help. We specialise in effectively engaging with patients and carers and can fully support you with the 3 steps outlined above. Gain insights, analyse, and act. We really do make it that simple. If this post has left you wanting to learn more, then check out our white paper on patient engagement, where we uncover more ways to maximise your clinical trial retention rates.

This blog was originally published here.

28th September 2020

Share

Tags

Company Details

COUCH Health

+44 (0) 330 995 0656

Contact Website

Address:
Suite 2.10, Jactin House
24 Hood Street
Manchester
M4 6WX
United Kingdom

Latest content on this profile

How community outreach can help improve diversity in clinical research
To execute a considered community engagement strategy, an involved and collaborative process is needed.
COUCH Health
Can eLearning improve patient recruitment and retention?
Some patients will still want to read pages of informed consent forms before joining a clinical trial, or want timely updates on paper rather than a notification on their phone. Whereas some would prefer to see a virtual reminder, watch videos, and take online questionnaires. The point is: there needs to be options. And that’s where eLearning comes in.
COUCH Health
Whats the difference between patient engagement and patient experience?
We all talk a lot about patient engagement and patient experience. And sometimes, these terms are used interchangeably across the industry. But while they’re both important, they’re not the same. So, let’s quickly clear up once and for all what the difference between patient engagement and patient experience is, so we can make sure that we’re doing the best possible job in both areas…
COUCH Health
Building trust in clinical trials whilst it is in the public eye
We’re all well aware that healthcare organisations are generally perceived to be untrustworthy. According to Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer, we even saw a clear global decline of public trust in pharma, biotech, hospitals, insurance and consumer health companies.
COUCH Health
Diversity in clinical trials needs to extend beyond COVID-19 vaccine trails
First up, the hard truth is that clinical trial populations are not diverse. People of certain ethnicities, females and the elderly are typically underrepresented in clinical research. And you might ask, “why?”
COUCH Health
Insights from patients during the COVID-19 pandemic
We all know how much the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone around the world. And within the healthcare industry, priorities have been re-evaluated and processes changed, to ensure that patients keep receiving care.
COUCH Health