While Coronavirus (COVID-19) is starting to result in less visits for CRO staff to sites and clinical trials become more complex, the core trial team can become over-stretched and are unable to respond quickly to routine study site questions. This often leads to the study team/site relationship breaking down and can in turn lead to an increase in protocol deviations and a decrease in recruitment/retention rates. As a result we have introduced our Virtual Clinical Helpdesk solution, which is a pioneering concept within the industry, and we’re amongst the first to introduce a fully comprehensive off-site support system to provide administrative relief for clinical teams.
And although we are proud to be industry innovators, we understand that there are many questions that arise as a result of new introductions to the pharma industry. That’s why we’re here to delve deeper into how a Virtual Clinical Helpdesk could assist you.
How Does it Work?
Imagine not having to rely on onsite CRA resource so much and instead utilising our existing on-site clinical team to include experienced, dedicated associates whose sole purpose is to handle all support questions from study sites relating to the medical enquiries and protocol support. It’s a nice thought, but at a time when clinical trial costs are on the rise, this isn’t always a suitable use of budget. For a flat low-cost monthly fee, the Virtual Clinical Helpdesk offers the same benefits, using on-demand remote resources to minimise the costs.
Through a local toll free telephone number, site staff with routine study enquiries or any other questions relating to the protocol, lab supplies, third party equipment such as ePROs, eDC or wearables can reach a team of trained clinical associates (including project managers (CPMs) and clinical research associates (CRAs)) who act on behalf of the clinical team. Answering calls from investigational sites, these experienced clinical experts can efficiently field and filter calls, only directing enquirers to the on-site team in more complex instances where the helpdesk feel unable to assist.
How Does it Help?
Ultimately, a Virtual Clinical Helpdesk takes pressure off the busy trial team, helping them to stay focused on the core trial while delegating some of the more predictable tasks such as answering and responding to medical enquiries. The benefits of taking pressure off the team are numerous, including improved site relationships, data quality, better patient recruitment, and greater retention rates, all through an undistracted focus on the trial.
However, the benefits of a Virtual Clinical Helpdesk aren’t just limited to improved focus and productivity. Using an advanced 21 CFR 11 compliant ticketing and tracking system, helpdesk CPMs and CRAs are able to respond to queries very rapidly and efficiently for enhanced satisfaction, helping to boost the reputation of the trial team.
A Need to Adapt
Clinical trials are changing. Today, the average clinical trial involves more vendors than ever before, highlighting an urgent need to implement changes that will facilitate a smooth operational flow. Along with virtual trials, a Virtual Clinical Helpdesk, which extends the clinical team and creates an instant, highly qualified support system, is critical to navigating the growing complexities of today’s clinical trial setups. Get in touch with us to find out more about bringing these and other benefits to your own organisation.