At any clinical trial site, time is the most valued commodity for busy and over-burdened site staff. Communicating in a fast, effective way is key to sustaining a positive relationship with the team who is crucial in the successful delivery of your clinical trial.
All of this is easier said than done, this is where site staff engagement becomes critical.
What is site engagement?
A good place to start is with the word engagement. This, by definition, is the creation of meaningful connections and interactions with people. Engagement is ensuring successful communication with trial sites and optimizing every interaction with your busy teams. Successful engagement should focus your awareness on an individual's behaviors and actions, based on who they are and what they do, allowing you to support them towards their goal.
Who do I engage?
Engage every individual. The clinical trial site team is composed of many different stakeholders or personnel. Each member of that team has their own way of communicating, their favorites and preferences.
Engaging successfully does not just mean connecting with people. It requires the personalization of the message and identification of the audience to ensure that every interaction is rewarding.
How do I engage?
It is essential that you are aware of the needs and challenges of your staff, and that this forms the basis for your engagement and communication. While the Principal Investigator in a large research center may be interested in updates on the therapy area, other site staff in a smaller center may want succinct information to allow them to stay abreast of applicable study changes.
Engage sites based on what they do. Technology now allows us to trigger communication and establish interaction based on a person's actions. Your site staff’s usage and access to study tools can dictate your engagement strategy.
The timing of your communication will also be important. Take into account different time zones. For example, while a message may be received well on the East Coast of the US at midday on a Wednesday, that same message would reach a European-based site after they’ve left for the day.
Deliver success for your sites
Knowledge management can bring sites success. In turn, success will bring motivation and drive the overall trial experience. Knowledge delivered at the right time in the engagement process is critical to a successful interaction.
We are all good at creating a contact list or sending an email to the study group email, but this is not engagement. Engagement evolves from meaningful, personal communications with your team. While it's true that creating and sustaining a successful engagement strategy with your site staff is a lot harder than simply passing on information, it's key to building effective relationships that are crucial to your clinical trial success.
What strategies have you seen for effective site staff engagement? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd love to hear your thoughts.