Teckro Logo
Transforming Clinical Trials

By Study NeedBy Study Role

May 11, 2023

Mining Frontline Insights: The Untapped Potential of Your Research Staff

Reading time

      Brian Deighan

      Brian Deighan

      Program Director


    Clinical trials come with a number of universal challenges. These of course evolve over time, but several recognized factors continue to impact on study success today – increasingly complex trials, capacity constraints due to high research staff turnover with fewer active investigators, and difficulties in recruiting and retaining sufficient participant numbers.

    Trials struggling to navigate these challenges often face significant delays, and every delay can cost millions. What’s more, they put research goals further and further out of reach. There are many industry vendors and solutions who aim to provide tools and systems that accelerate trials but in reality, often add to the complexity. We’re all familiar with site frustrations around the countless portals and passwords required per study. This oft-cited “tech burnout” is adding to the burden sites are already carrying and compounding the problem.

    In my experience, the most fundamental practice sponsors and study teams can adopt to tackle these challenges is to master site engagement by truly strategizing their site outreach efforts. Ultimately, the key to study success sits with study sites – investigators are the only stakeholders that can enroll patients onto a study. Connecting with investigators and other site staff in a way that adds value helps to keep a study top of mind and supports them to meet participant enrollment and retention targets.

    Sites Have the Answers

    It’s essential to outline and maintain a regular, tailored communication strategy that keeps site staff both informed and updated on critical information and study progress. But how informed are most study teams about their sites? Site staff and investigators are a ready-made treasure trove of insights about a study. The best way to find out where they need support? Ask them.

    Directly sourcing insights or feedback from sites provides study teams with valid qualitative and quantitative data, straight from the horse’s mouth – a wealth of information that can then be used to implement meaningful changes and impactful course corrections. This includes feeding learnings gained into site outreach, such as more regular communications about a particular topic like enrollment progress or a study-wide clarification about an area of confusion in the protocol.

    Easy Surveys, Fast Insights

    Let’s look at an example. A study team on a Phase II oncology trial were facing recruitment challenges and had missed study milestones globally. Realizing they had a lack of awareness around site issues and pain points, they used Teckro to quickly compose a site survey and sent it to all relevant site staff across their study. They had a clear aim for the survey – to gather data on recruitment barriers and whether these were related to the inclusion/exclusion criteria.

    The study team received 18 responses from investigators and study coordinators across 11 countries in just 3 days. They learned:

    • 61% of respondents indicated tissue screening was the ultimate barrier to enrollment of potential participants.
    • Of those, 33% cited participant ineligibility due to PD-L1 results.
    • A further 28% indicated lab kit supply issues.

    With the ability to easily analyze incoming responses to quickly put together this picture of site recruitment barriers, the study team had the information they needed to make data-driven decisions that would support their sites. The site staff had their voices heard and contributed to a meaningful change that improved their study experience and likelihood of success – all of which helped them feel valued and more engaged.

    More is Possible, With Teckro

    The power of surveying sites is clear. With Teckro, study teams can easily create and quickly share impactful site surveys themselves, instead of enduring the headache and glacial timeline of coordinating with 3rd party solutions. Sites are prompted via familiar push notifications, so chances are greater that they’ll respond. And to keep it simple, they receive and submit the survey in the same place as all other study communications, directly in the mobile app.

    Teckro’s survey capabilities have long enabled sponsors and study teams to seamlessly collect fast, frontline feedback from their site staff. Simple to compose with accurate, integrated audience lists and real-time read and response rates, surveys with Teckro facilitate effortless role segmentation and help to inform site outreach requirements.

    Even better, Teckro’s recently updated survey dashboard allows this crucial data to be maximized for optimum impact.

    Have a Question? Ask Your Sites

    Teckro’s Survey dashboard now offers easy, intuitive visualization and analysis of survey results data, enabling study teams to:

    • Template recurring surveys: Reduce manual entry and duplication of work by saving surveys as templates to use again, securing future efficiencies and confidence in question consistency.
    • Visualize response data by question: Get a clear overview of answers for each survey question, making it easy to identify patterns, trends and areas for attention.
    • Drill into responses by site, role, country: Customize survey analyses by dynamically filtering results based on assorted criteria, helping determine whether an issue is isolated or more far-reaching and make targeted plans for improvement.

    This in-depth data analysis allows efficient application of learnings. Study teams can rank survey findings in order of urgency or impact to effectively triage required guidance and allocation of resources. They can determine next best steps and course-corrections for fast improvements. And they can give sites a voice, reinforcing a culture of openness and collaboration towards collective study goals.

    A digitally interconnected clinical trial with Teckro not only facilitates faster, easier access to a network of vital study resources and expert support, it also unlocks a world of unique, real-time data that study teams can’t get anywhere else – including an effortless way to gather insights directly from the study frontline.

    Learn more about Teckro communication capabilities

    Learn more

    Related Resources

    Dots background
    Brian Deighan

    How to Effectively Engage Your Site Staff

    Teckro's Brian Deighan offers practical communication tips for clinical site engagement.