Becoming the Preferred CRO for Top Sponsors: Leveraging Technology for Trial Success

September 28 2023  

In my previous blog post, I delved into the accomplishments of CROs achieved by deploying extensive patient convenience strategies. This time, I’ll shift the attention to the administrative side of things. As CROs oversee the management of clinical trials, this is a topic that is increasingly important. Especially when a recent study found that site admins believe clinical trial start-up, execution and other operating activities have worsened substantially over the last 5 years.

CROs Role

One of the most important tasks of a CRO is the management of a sponsor’s finances for the trial, a responsibility that demands skill and precision. Unfortunately, the handling of payments, despite its critical importance, is frequently an aspect of CRO work that goes underappreciated and undervalued.

Effective administration of payments and the management of cash flow are paramount in the clinical trial ecosystem. Clinical trial sites typically operate with no more than a three-month cash reserve, making timely payments essential to their sustainability. Furthermore, the impact of inflation can exacerbate the financial challenges, potentially affecting overall trial costs. Failure to ensure prompt payments to these sites can impede their ability to recruit participants and carry out the trial effectively.

Many small-to-midsize CROs still rely on spreadsheets to manage site payments, but this traditional method carries inherent risks of human errors and the potential to underestimate the sponsor’s financial obligations. Additionally, this approach often lacks the capability to generate comprehensive analytics and reports that can be readily accessed and shared upon request, missing out on valuable insights that could enhance decision-making and transparency.

Tech Investments is Driving Fast ROI

Cutting-edge technologies such as Greenphire’s EnvisiX, a budget development and negotiation solution, are revolutionizing the complicated pre-trial phase, delivering a ROI within mere months. This innovative tool streamlines the startup process, resulting in quicker, more efficient transitions from budgeting to first patient in (FPI) and ultimately cost savings.

When you have technology that streamlines and optimizes traditionally manual administrative tasks, you can positively impact trial success, including greater transparency, increased control over spend, faster startup timelines, cost savings (for sponsors), and more.

Technology is ushering in a positive transformation for both CROs and sponsors. Take Linical, a global mid-sized CRO, for instance. They have implemented Greenphire’s EnvisiX budget creation tool to enhance the site grant budgeting process across their extensive study portfolio. Additionally, they have integrated Greenphire’s site payment solution, eClinicalGPS, to automate and track global site payments. The outcomes have been impressive. Linical now achieves savings equivalent to 15%-20% of a full-time employee’s workload, translating to a remarkable 24-32 hours saved. Furthermore, they have significantly reduced the time allocated to site payments, plummeting from 50% of a full-time equivalent’s (FTE) work hours to just 10%, signifying an extraordinary 80% reduction in time spent.

In closing, as we navigate the evolving landscape of clinical research, it’s evident that CROs must adapt to meet the ever-increasing demands for efficiency and transparency. Embracing innovative technologies like EnvisiX is not merely a choice but a strategic imperative for CROs seeking to become the preferred choice for top sponsors. These solutions empower CROs to excel in their financial management responsibilities, ensuring timely payments to clinical trial sites and ultimately enhancing trial success.


Want to learn more about how Greenphire can optimize your financial workflows from budget through payments?

Dave Espenshade
Vice President, CRO Partnerships

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