As the industry continues to work to fine-tune the patient experience in clinical trials, we’re learning at the site level how to interpret that change for our own business. From processes to the types of studies we’re choosing, we’re finding that every patient touchpoint deserves consideration to make sure we are not only competitive from a business standpoint but in meeting and exceeding our patients’ expectations.
- Going to the Patient
A regular part of our outreach program is that first engagement begins in either an educational setting or face-to-face conversations with members of the community in their locations — independent living centers, activity centers, group settings such as the YMCA, churches, etc. When we can, we do point-of-care checks or memory screens right where our patients are located.
- Bringing the Patient to Us
No transportation? No problem. We’ll send an Uber or Lyft. We’ve found the ROI on our transportation program to be fantastic, both because it lowers our no-show rate and offers a real service to members of the community who might not otherwise be able to travel to our office.
- Rethinking Days/Hours
All of our clinical teams work to schedule appointments when they are best for the participants, not just during an 8-5 week. This type of flex scheduling ensures that patients are able to participate and are compliant with visit schedules. We’ve even added Saturdays once a month to provide health screenings to the community in an effort to allow people with busy work weeks the opportunity to take advantage of no-cost screens.
- An Entire Staff with Customer Service Training
It’s not enough that our recruiters have great customer service skills. Our Training Coordinator works with all staff members to raise awareness of customer service behaviors/thinking to ensure a seamless approach to serving our customers.
- Creating Raving Fans
Our company goal is to turn every trial participant into a raving fan of CTT. We start that with our customer service skills and we quality check our efforts by surveying participants to ensure their expectations were met. We also surprise them at study completion by offering a T-shirt and a certificate that lets each participant know that a donation to a local charity was made in his or her honor for that study participation and that he or she is a medical hero.
- Trials for Our Population
We also put thought into the studies we accept to make sure they align with our populations, not just from a demographic or indication perspective but also from a cultural standpoint. A wide variety of therapeutic areas in our study mix also appeals to our patients who can then choose the best fit.
- Working to Raise Awareness About Research
We were surprised to find a lack of awareness about research in general among healthcare professionals, a population that is often mistakenly expected to know to refer patients to trials. We work to educate healthcare professionals of all types about research, from involving medical residents in our program for rotations, to conducting outreach for education. Our goal is to educate our healthcare community about research so it can help us align the right patients with the right trials and even offer research as a treatment option with the result of improving patient-centricity.
About Clinical Trials of Texas, Inc.
Leisel Koerber is Sr. VP of Operations at Clinical Trials of Texas, Inc. (CTT). She has worked in clinical research across multiple positions over the past 12 years including Site Director and Study Coordinator. Leisel has a BBA from University of Texas at San Antonio and is a CCRC. She has worked on more than 500 trials and was instrumental in the development of a proprietary clinical trial management system (CTMS) and electronic source document software.
CTT, formed in 2001, has a highly-equipped and versatile 19,000 sq. ft. facility capable of conducting Early Phase – Phase IV studies in a multitude of therapeutic areas. CTT’s Medical Director, Douglas Denham, DO, CPI along with 16 other board-certified physicians, who practice in the San Antonio area, work with CTT to conduct studies in their respective medical specialties. This network of investigators has helped create one of the largest and most capable research sites in the United States.