Currency of Patient Engagement: Changing Tides

Applied Clinical TrialsApplied Clinical Trials-11-01-2021
Volume 30
Issue 11

Meeting patients at the point of care can increase trust and engagement.

As the cost of patient recruitment continues to rise, layered with the need for more diverse trial participants representative of the total population, it’s clear that a deeper level of patient experience that transcends the length and depth of a single study is essential to successful enrollment and retention. To fully engage research patients, we must meet them at their point of trusted care, unlike traditional methods of recruitment.

Engaging the patient’s care team

More than 72% of Americans say they would participate in a clinical trial if recommended by their doctor, but only 22% say a provider has ever talked to them about clinical research.1 This is one of the driving forces behind the approach of an Integrated Research Organization (IRO) like Javara. Through partnerships with community-based healthcare organizations and the physicians who provide healthcare for patients, credibility and trustworthiness are established. Meeting patients where they are expands access to research, especially in underserved communities.

The IRO model embeds study teams within the physician’s practice, ensuring seamless care and data optimization. Compliant and trusted access to electronic health records (EHR) significantly decreases the time and cost to identify patients who likely meet study criteria and simultaneously ensures far fewer screen failures.

For healthcare organizations and physicians, contributing to population health initiatives is a key driver. As the cost of care escalates and physicians are held accountable for quality outcomes, clinical research can positively impact both. Significant improvements in quality and cost across some of the most expensive chronic conditions have manifested for healthcare organizations in value-based programs.2 In fact, research shows decreased mortality rates and improved adherence to trial related and non-trial related treatments long after trial participation ends.3,4

Conducting research is a market differentiator, adding to the return on investment for healthcare organizations and physicians that conduct research. More than 70% of physicians report that research advances their practice with cutting-edge options and provides patients with options not readily available elsewhere.5

Engaging emerging investigators

Cultivating enough new physician investigators to support the nearly 261% increase in clinical trials over the last decade is no small feat.6 The traditional model that relies heavily on seasoned investigators no longer meets the industry’s increasing needs.

Emerging investigators may be new to research, but as community physicians who have often practiced medicine for many years, they bring a wealth of knowledge and lived experience to the table. With support and mentorship, motivated physicians who desire to participate in research can significantly help bridge the gap created by the influx of new studies and the ever-increasing complexity of trials.

From experience to engagement

The heightened commitment in recent years to improve the research participant’s journey must continue. A satisfied patient is less likely to leave a trial midway through, an important factor when an average of $19,533 is spent to replace a single patient lost to non-compliance.7

To gauge satisfaction, many organizations conduct occasional surveys after study participation.

Javara’s approach to patient experience is unique as patients are surveyed digitally at multiple key times throughout their participation. Their responses are immediately provided to site leadership and incorporated into process improvement plans to enhance patient experience.

Fostering repeat participation and advocacy

Meeting patients at the point of care enables them to truly see research as a care option. Patients learn they have more options to help themselves and the power to help others through clinical research. More than 95% of patients said adding clinical research significantly or somewhat improved their overall quality of care.8

It is through a 360° approach to ensuring the best possible experience for trial participants that our investigators become more gratified, sponsors get what they need in reliable and full data sets, and our own team becomes further empowered that what we do, in fact, makes a difference. All boats rise as we change the tides of patient engagement.


  1. Research!America, 2013, See full resource here
  2. James, Alycia R., and Costello, Mary. “Down with Silos”, Group Practice Journal October 2019 (p.36-40)
  3. Selby, P. and Autier, P., “The impact of clinical research on health service outcomes”, Annals of Oncology, 2011 (22; vii5-vii9)
  4. Hein A.W. van Onzenoort et al., “Participation in a clinical trial enhances adherence and persistence to treatment: A retrospective cohort study”, Hypertension. 2011;58:573-578. AHA Journal.
  5. James, Costello. Group Practice Journal
  6. here
  7. Nicoli-Carr, Valeria, “The True Cost of Patient Dropouts in Clinical Trials”, MDGroup Blog, October 1, 2020. See full resource here
  8. Shen, Jane et al., “Clinicalresearch participation asacareoption: Driving patient experience and satisfaction”, PMG Research, 2015. See full resource here

Michael Clay, Chief Operating Officer, Javara

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