Offering Home Clinical Trial Visits Can Boost Patient Retention Rates

Nicki Norris, MBA, CEO of Symphony Clinical Research

Nicki Norris, MBA, CEO of Symphony Clinical Research

Sites looking to improve patient recruitment and retention might want to consider offering some home cooking, says Nicki Norris, MBA, the CEO of Symphony Clinical Research.

Too often, recruiters and other site personnel forget patients have busy lives. Participating in a trial, as important as it may be, is only one of the items on their plate, Norris says.

In-home trial visits “increase patient satisfaction,” adds Symphony’s Director of Business Affairs, Lauren Dahlquist, MBA. “They are more willing to stay in the study.”

While sponsors have tended to shy away from it, the practice of offering more in-home trial visits is catching on, Norris and Dahlquist say, as one way to mitigate patient difficulties. Acceptance is greater in the U.S. and western Europe, they explain, based on Symphony’s experience working in 55 countries to date.

Novel Techniques for Improving Clinical Trial Subject Retention – Join Norris at ACRP 2018 where she will present innovative approaches for improving subject retention. Learn about metrics demonstrating the impact of in-home and alternate site clinical services on patient, sites, and study sponsors. Take home strategies to immediately improve subject retention numbers. View Session Details

They don’t have hard data to make the case for home visits, Dahlquist admits, but she’s seen significant impact on individual studies. For example, the patient dropout rate for an admittedly “intense” two-year trial was nearly 60% for patients who weren’t given the in-home option, and 3% for those who were. “That’s a particularly dramatic example,” she allows. However, she estimates the in-home option typically cuts the dropout rate by about 10%.

After a recent speaking engagement, Dahlquist says a patient recruiter told her offering the in-home option made his role much easier. In another study, she reported site leaders who expected it would take 12 months to reach the study’s recruitment goals were able to do it in four after offering in-home trial visits.

Author: Michael Causey