Over 80% of clinical research trials fail to meet enrollment goals, making the remaining 20% that do meet the necessary patient levels critical to the success of clinical research sites. Every site is faced with situations where patients drop-out of studies before its completion; however, it is important to find ways to increase patient retention. Here are 6 tips to help improve your patient retention.
Keeping patients up-to-date on the progress of a study and sharing new information with them is a great way to keep patients interested and engaged in the study. Patients with a vested interest in a particular study have a significantly higher chance of staying enrolled.
Simple Stipend Payment
Oftentimes patient visit stipends are paid by check; however, this is a potential problem for some patients who may not have an easy way of cashing each check. Adopting a patient debit card system can see patient retention rates improve by as much as 12%-15% by allowing for access to funds in real-time and eliminating the need for bank accounts.
Clear Consenting Process
A clear consenting process is often an important step in ensuring that patients stay enrolled in a particular study. If the consenting process is confusing and difficult to understand, patients may not fully understand what they are going to be doing, leading to patients who will leave the study. A clear consenting process ensures that all newly enrolled patients completely understand all elements of the study, increasing the likelihood of completing the study because they won’t be surprised by anything.
In the daily hustle of life it can be very easy for patients to forget or miss necessary visits. It is critical to ensure that patients are regularly notified of upcoming visits to ensure that they don’t miss visit windows or other critical information that would require them to leave the study.
In some instances patients may have a difficult time getting to the trial location. In order to help ensure patients are able to complete each visit it may be a good idea to offer transportation services.
Identify Possible Drop-Outs
Proactively looking for potential problems before they start is an important way to improve patient retention. Sites should be on the lookout for common warning signs that indicate a patient may leave a study, this way sites can step in and attempt to fix any issues before it is too late.