The start of a new year presents an opportunity to evaluate not only our personal lives but also our professional lives. When working in a clinical trial environment, we’re often too busy to pay attention to the seemingly small things that have the potential to help us in the long run – like patient retention. Now that we’re a month into 2018, we thought we’d share some best practices for research sites to carry you through the year.
Review appointment times.
Are your office hours creating issues for some patients and their families? Consider opening on a Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours or staying open late one evening each week to accommodate busy patients and their caretakers.
Assess your parking lot.
Take a look at your parking lot during peak hours. Is there adequate parking for everyone? Or are you noticing people parking on the street? Consider reimbursing those who are forced to pay for parking while at your office for an appointment, or provide reserved spaces for trial participants.
Visit your waiting room.
Children often accompany their parents to clinic visits, if they’re not the patients themselves! Regardless of why they’re there, consider having a craft corner in the waiting area to occupy them while they wait. A small table with crayons and coloring books can keep children from becoming restless during trial visits.
Offer a hand.
In the case of pediatric trials, clinic visits can become a family affair, with other siblings tagging along due to busy schedules. It’s a nice gesture to offer parents some help getting kids to and from the car, especially in inclement weather. The same goes for studies enrolling senior patients.
Be part of the community.
Participate in at least one health fair or another healthcare-related event each year. This not only shows support for your community, but can also help get the word out about studies you’re working on. Make sure to bring along brochures and any other relevant materials to pass out.