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  • Writer's pictureFutureMeds

3 Pillars of Effective Patient Recruitment

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

For decades, recruitment challenges have been the number one Sponsor and CRO driving factor of study delays and associated budget increases.

Ours is a fast-changing environment with an ever-changing landscape. No wonder we, as an industry, find it hard to crack patient recruitment. Reflecting on FutureMeds' clinical trial experience and his work with Sponsors and CROs, Arkadiusz Kasperski, the Head of Patient Engagement at FutureMeds, explains the 3 pillars of effective recruitment.

Arkadiusz is responsible for managing patient recruitment and marketing operations in Poland, streamlining patient recruitment activities throughout FutureMeds countries and supporting colleagues across all FutureMeds Dedicated Research Sites. He also manages the growing Clinical Relations Specialist Department of FutureMeds Poland.

Under his leadership and guided by core principles such as professionalism and expertise, speed of action, and agile approach, the now 7-strong Clinical Relations team forged lasting ties with professionals and healthcare providers across primary and secondary care providers. Last year, existing and new referral partners made nearly 300 active clinical research referrals and, on top of that, introduced almost 900 patients to FutureMeds.

Referral relationships built on trust that widens patient choices

We are on a mission to forge strong and lasting ties with health care providers across various therapeutic areas to help them provide patients with the best choices and treatment options.

To put the above numbers in perspective, FutureMeds Poland’s CRS team delivers approximately 35% of site targets, making them the most effective patient source in the country.

Arkadiusz finds his Clinical Relations Specialist Department’s work extremely important. He and his team understand how crucial it is to support and educate physicians and care providers. Reason: patients trust their physicians more than trial investigators.

The most recent CISCRP Perceptions & Insight Study reports that although more than 90% of patients believe it's important for their doctor to be aware of local clinical studies, only 10% of physicians regularly discuss clinical studies with patients. The study's most striking finding is that less than 1% of patients are referred to a trial by their physician.

There's a gap between patient expectations and the information and guidance their doctors can offer them. However, this gap can be closed.

At FutureMeds, our dedicated Clinical Relations Specialists work tirelessly to help doctors overcome the core challenges such as lack of understanding of where to refer patients, lack of access to clear and organised trial information, and lack of time to research and learn about active trials.

To help our partners provide their patients with better information, our dedicated Clinical Relationship Specialists:

Educate doctors about available trials,

Highlight how those trials can improve their patients' access to new treatments

Provide support to doctors so they can offer better care or care options for their patients.

“Thanks to FutureMeds Poland’s growing doctors database, strong connections, our CRS team’s proven strategy and approach, and deep domain expertise, we support recruitment in most therapeutic areas.”

- Arkadiusz Kasperski, Head of Patient Engagement at FutureMeds

A fast-growing patient database that boosts patient access to treatments

Due to his marketing background, Arkadiusz is highly aware of the impact of the right technology, information management, and database development on patient experience. For instance, a well-designed and well-maintained database system not only underscores clinical trial operations and protects research timelines but also helps patients access better care.

Marketing, recruitment and clinical relations activities go hand in hand with database management. For example, increasing and accelerating the availability of new therapeutic options wouldn’t be possible without a database that enables efficient and fast patient recruitment.

FutureMeds Poland’s patient database currently has over 147,700 patients in the system. Close to 50,000 of them are screened and diagnosed. Thanks to the systematic work and record keeping of the FutureMeds Dedicated Research Site teams, Arkadiusz’s team can access and target patients across over 36 therapeutic areas.

“FutureMeds Poland delivered over 11500 free bone density scans (DEXA scans) for patients from osteoporosis risk groups in the last 12 months. This activity helped patients better understand their situation and what they could do about it. Some of these patients decided to join various osteoporosis studies, and we randomised over 200 of them.“

- Arkadiusz Kasperski, Head of Patient Engagement at FutureMeds

Collaborations across teams that increase patient experience

Looking at the data across our studies, we found that optimising retention is one of the most effective ways to minimise risk to study timelines. It all starts with fully understanding the patient. Once we have a better understanding, recruitment of patients becomes a lesser challenge.

Throughout our work with patients, colleagues and industry stakeholders, FutureMeds identified 7 factors that boost patient convenience and experience:

Online and offline materials that are easy to access and understand and that drive awareness and improve communication

Empathetic and supportive staff who can communicate how the patient and the community benefit from a trial and can alleviate patient burdens

Engaged, enthusiastic and experienced principal investigator who can manage patient expectations properly to mitigate symptom burden

Patient-centric schedule that works around patient's constraints such as time, travel and financial burden

Remote appointments that can be easily rescheduled

Seamless integration of trial management and communication technologies to increase engagement

Feedback loop to understand day-to-day patient experience during the trial and to improve the patient journey

“We aim to make FutureMeds the first choice for patients looking for new therapeutic options. To make this happen, we are building and optimising our technological and marketing stack whilst implementing strategies that help our teams grow clinical trial awareness among patients and health care providers in Europe.”

- Arkadiusz Kasperski, Head of Patient Engagement at FutureMeds

About Arkadiusz' background

Arkadiusz has been a part of the clinical research industry since 2014. His clinical research journey started at Synexus, where he gained specialised experience in patient engagement.

Building on strong marketing and patient recruitment foundations, he ventured into strategic planning and soon led a team of community awareness specialists. These specialists helped the company get the attention of the patients who could benefit the most from joining a clinical trial. Due to his team's results, he was promoted to Patient Engagement Operations Manager in 9 months.

Over the next few years, he extended his knowledge of patient engagement and explored all the nooks and crannies of patient recruitment activities. At FutureMeds, Arkadiusz was one of the first vital hires that helped the company reach the next level.

FutureMeds, a fast-growing independent Site Management Organisation, is in Europe's top tier of Dedicated Research Site Networks. Our Dedicated Research Sites across the continent are currently involved in running clinical trials on behalf of our clients in pharma and CROs.

About FutureMeds

FutureMeds is a fast-growing independent Dedicated Research Site Network supporting pharmaceutical companies, Sponsors and CROs and contributing to research to find effective treatments and medications for all patients who need them.

FutureMeds’ Dedicated Research Site teams strive to accelerate study timelines, streamline processes, lower costs and improve data quality to help accelerate patient access to new treatments.

Through acquisitions and a strategic focus on patient experience, FutureMeds has developed qualified patient pools across Europe that enables faster patient enrollment and strong retention and help generate more accurate results.

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