Coastal Carolina Research Center (CCRC) utilizes systematic recruitment and enrollment strategies that are based on experience, historical enrollment metrics, local community needs and interests, current health and medical trends, referral trends, and multi-media effectiveness.
CCRC recruitment strategies take flight during study feasibility, long before we are awarded a study. CCRC has weekly business meetings every Tuesday to address any needs or concerns with ongoing clinical studies. We also discuss new potential studies and we brainstorm to gradually implement potential recruitment strategies. We utilize the time from study feasibility to site initiation to maximize recruitment success.
After the recruitment strategy has been developed, it is executed in combination by our dedicated Recruitment & Education Coordinators and Director of Business Development. It is a “team approach” in which everyone contributes. CCRC recognizes that recruitment is potentially the most dynamic and unpredictable element in conducting clinical research. Our ongoing pre-study efforts and multi-strategic approach minimizes this unpredictability and provides value to Sponsors and CROs. Read More
Coastal Carolina Research Center (CCRC) understands that “retention” of study participants is of vital important to all Sponsors/CROs. In order to maximize our efforts we utilize “common sense” and some creativity to keep volunteers motivated. Retention is not a simple solution or an idea, at CCRC it is a process.
Another important element to maintain the high “retention rates” that we enjoy is due to the fact that we do not adhere to the adage that just because someone meets the I/E criteria we automatically enroll them. At CCRC, although the Informed Consent Process is a group effort, before a signature is provided, one of our investigators will spend private time with the potential volunteer to not only discuss the elements of the Informed Consent and the study but also assess whether the particular volunteer IS a good candidate for the study. Many factors such as personal issues, the volunteer’s work requirements and pressures, future travel arrangements, logistical obstacles, past study behavior, perceived reliability and general interest and motivation are assessed by the investigator. Volunteering is valued but it is not a right and our investigators do exercise their discretion before anyone is allowed to enroll into a study.
Compensation & Other
For all the studies we conduct at CCRC we do compensate qualified participants appropriately for their time and travel expenses with a nominal fee per visit. Out of respect of their willingness to volunteer and be a part of the process, we think this is a reasonable business expense.
When allowed, CCRC has other retention strategies that we have used occasionally when the need arose including:
– Low-fat Cooking classes with a local chef
– Manicure vouchers
– Staggered items/gifts throughout the term of the study
Finally, and most importantly CCRC genuinely reinforces our belief that “Research Volunteers” are the most important element in our work. We strive to communicate to our local area in as many ways as possible how VALUABLE a research volunteer’s contributions are and we extend to them a simple “Thank You” as much as possible. Ultimately our goal is to make sure the experience they have during the course of the study and with our staff is “positive” every step of the way.
Customers Not Patients
First and foremost, CCRC treats our volunteers like customers. Since we do not have a busy private practice running out of the same office, operationally we can focus on these service skills at every position and train accordingly. It is very cliché but customer service skills include:
– Polite way we address and speak to volunteers on the phone
– The manner in which we leave phone messages or emails
– Promptness when returning phone calls or messages
– Attention to detail we communicate for all study procedures especially during the informed consent process – Flexible scheduling and re-scheduling (including weekends if needed)
– Short waiting time in our lobby
– Promotional items (including CCRC T-Shirt) we distribute after the screening visit –
– Appropriate compensation to respect volunteer time and effort
– Open door policy at all times
ALL are very important and standard across the board for all studies.
We live in Charleston (awarded “Most Mannered City for 10 years in a row) so in many ways we feel we have a high standard to uphold as it is our responsibility to be polite and courteous at all times. Most importantly our staff enjoys what they do and their positive attitude helps create a mutually respectful business environment and culture.
Full-Time Medical Director
There are many dedicated research centers across the United States but not many have a full-time research physician who is available virtually everyday Monday – Friday. Dr. Cynthia Strout has served in this role for years and is able to provide the expertise and be available for impromptu visits with volunteers in the event they have questions or concerns throughout the study schedule. In this regard, much like a private practice, all of our volunteers feel that when needed, a physician is here for them at all times.