Five Key Strategies to Boost Patient Enrollment
One of the most time-consuming components in clinical trials is patient enrollment. While there are companies out there who specialize in this activity and can help you save time, implementing these five strategies will help you optimize your own patient enrollment practice.
1. Ensure Timely Initial Response to PatientsOutreach lag is one of the many reasons why new patients end up as “lost to follow-up.” Time is of the essence, so be sure to create a workflow that would allow your team to contact patients within the first couple of hours after they express interest in participating.
2. Contact, Then Repeat. And Repeat.If you heard an advertisement only once, how likely are you to remember it? Patient outreach is no different – you must contact patients consistently and often. An outreach plan that includes consistent, regular new patient outreach will increase the likelihood of connecting with them. Did we say repeat?
3. Provide Multi-channel Communication OptionsMost of us have a love/hate relationship with technology, but, given that communication is key, it is imperative to provide the patient with multiple options to communicate with you. The most obvious ones include phone, text, and email, but make sure you offer online chat choices such as Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, etc. And remember to be timely with your responses!
4. Build CredibilityEnsure your patient pre-screening staff is well-trained in both the industry and protocol. Patients are already skeptical about clinical research, so be sure to train your pre-screeners well so they can clearly explain the process IP's go through, in addition to handling difficult questions about the study. These tasks are key to building credibility, leading to increased conversion rates.
5. Build RapportIt can be easy in your very busy day to unconsciously forget that pre-screening patients is not only about determining eligibility, but also about connecting and building a relationship with them. Studies show that customer service is one surefire way of keeping consumers, and this applies to us, too! Find commonality, be patient, and show empathy. If an already skeptical patient is met with a less-than-desirable conversation, this first impression will result in a no-show.
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