CC CTMS Transitions Northwestern Medicine to Proactive Tracking & Profitability

Number of Trials:





  • 10x increase in managed trials
  • Transition from operating at a loss to being a profitable business unit
  • Better financial and staff allocation mangement

NW Medicine

"CC CTMS helped us identify missed financial opportunities to turn the business around, grow exponentially, and become profitable."

Sarah Madia
Manager, Office Research


When Sarah Madia joined Northwestern Medicine’s Office of Research, the team had realized that their current tracking system, consisting mainly of excel spreadsheets,
was not going to enable them to grow. The site, which at the time had approximately 20 active trials, was losing money and needed a better way to track both financial data and overall study management. Madia had used another CTMS at her previous job, but knew it wasn’t dynamic enough to do the job Northwestern needed. In choosing CC CTMS, Northwestern Medicine was not only able to better manage all aspects of their trials, they increased active studies by 10 fold and became profitable within five years.

Once CC CTMS went live at Northwestern, the team began tracking and reporting execution upon business-critical operations, especially on the CTO’s finances. Under the old system, Northwestern conducted trials and passively waited for sponsor payments. With a strong CTMS in place, the CTO was able to set up each trial with various elements that the sites could track in real time and proactively bill sponsors for all of the teams’ work. Each piece of tracked data is tied to a financial action so invoices are more detailed, include all payable elements of the trial (which increased revenue), and are able to be processed more quickly resulting in shorter payment times. Northwestern Medicine is now a profitable business unit within the health system, using data for continuous improvement and revenue reporting.

Beyond finances, CC CTMS is also helping Northwestern manage the entire gamut of study management. Two key areas of improvement are in surveying patients and staff allocations. “We’ve seen some great success in how we communicate with patients, especially when it comes to getting their feedback,” said Madia. “We’re now building patient surveys into many of our studies to help ensure patient care continues to be at the forefront of Northwestern’s work.” Additionally, CC CTMS has been an invaluable tool to track staff scheduling, activity and better understand work allocations. Northwestern is able to ensure their clinical trial team is not overbooked, leading to better patient care and staff satisfaction. Given Northwestern Medicine’s CTMS success, the team is working with their colleagues in oncology and at Northwestern University to see how they can expand the program.

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