Protecting Patient Retention Rates in a Clinical Trial Starts Earlier Than You Think

It’s no secret that patient retention is one of the many challenges a ClinOps leader and their team faces, as they drive studies to success. This is a battle that is typically taken up once a patient has already enrolled onto a study; we think it can be considered a lot earlier than that. 

From the patient perspective, choosing to participate – and continuing to participate – is a huge life decision. We have to design and redesign the patient journey to ensure they feel heard, supported and comfortable as they continue to make the choice to participate. 

For us, identifying and reaching the most engaged patients at the very start of the process (your awareness campaigns) has a real and tangible effect on retention months later. 

Part of identifying these individuals early is building a detailed patient profile for the criteria of your clinical trial. We paint a picture of who a typical enrolled patient is, asking questions such as:

  • Why are they typically motivated to participate? 
  • Where they might be located? 
  • Where do they typically go for information about their condition? 
  • How long have they been diagnosed? 
  • How engaged are they with their fellow patient community? 

So how do we answer these questions? We’re able to learn a lot from our advocacy partners, together with insights from patients we speak to day to day. Our data team also collects behavioral data from patients already on the journey with us – combined with data from our digital advertising campaigns.  

Behavioral data is a big piece of the puzzle here. We can identify even subtle behavioral signals that tell us about their level of engagement early on. When we see early indicators of low engagement, we know there is more risk of that patient dropping out later on. 

So what do we do when we see these early indicators of low engagement? 

  • Nurture the experience of the patient – there’s a way at every step of a patient’s journey to support them, for their comfort and engagement
  • Be realistic about dropout likelihood – maintain/increase your awareness campaigns to ensure there is a constant flow of interest 
  • Ensure a seamless and sensitive handoff of patients to sites – what nuances do sites need to be aware of?

Nurturing the patient journey is important for all patients. We want every patient to feel informed, comfortable, and happy – which is a central part of the exciting work led by our Patient Success Teams. Our compassionate approach and ongoing learning is something that protects both patients themselves, and patient retention for our Pharma clients.

The takeaways are clear for us:

  • The better the patient profile you can build, the more easily you can spot the most engaged patients up front – leading to higher patient retention rates
  • Nurturing patients from day one prioritizes both the patient experience and study drop out rates

To chat to us more about our empathetic and learning-based approach to patient recruitment, reach out to

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