Insights from the UK ICTMC (International Clinical Trials Methodology) Conference in Harrogate, UK
While rewarding, working in clinical research today is demanding of participants and study staff. This global phenomenon was confounded by COVID and strains such as interrupted studies due to lockdowns, lack of sufficient resources, and increased protocol complexity.
At the ICTMC, I observed promising initiatives which seek to bring methodological and operational improvements across several key clinical research themes: recruitment/retention, inclusivity, communications, and qualitative/quantitative research.
PPIE (Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement)
The UK Standards for Public Involvement discussed at the conference have set forth a mission to improve inclusivity and the quality and consistency of public involvement in the conduct of research. The standards identify key best practices which have been adopted in research activities throughout the UK.
Many of these process improvement activities were highlighted at the ICTMC conference. In this context, during one session I attended I heard presenter Amy Russell (University of Leeds) conclude with the following, “Change can happen faster, if we all work together.” I immediately wrote that statement down. This comment crystallized the collegial spirit of the ICTMC attendees I observed and summarized precisely why Greenphire is interested in partnering further with UK Clinical Trial Units.
University of Aberdeen: ClinCard “Proof of Concept” Success Story
Also at the event, we were excited to present our joint poster, highlighting the successful six-month evaluation of ClinCard among PPIE participants conducted at the University of Aberdeen under the leadership of Shaun Treweek, PhD., and colleagues.
The ClinCard evaluation completed by the University of Aberdeen showcased the value streamlining PPIE payments delivers to participants (especially diverse populations) along with reduced workload for study and finance staff—thereby, reinforcing operational efficiency and support for PPIE.
Given evidence in the US where ~ 75% of academic medical centers (N=80) and ~ 500 additional research hospitals and sites use ClinCard as the gold standard for participant payments, we were excited to present awareness to ICTMC attendees of the Proof-of-Concept project highlighted by the following testimonials:
- University of Aberdeen PPIE Contributor – “It’s worked very well; I very much appreciate the timely payments as PPIE Payments often take at least a month to come through.”
- University of Aberdeen Finance – “Our other methods of paying participants don’t give us the level of reporting ClinCard does.”
- University of Aberdeen Administrative/Study Staff – “I’ve found the ClinCard system to be extremely intuitive to use and appreciate the ability to make near-instantaneous payments.”
Shaun Treweek importantly noted to colleagues who stopped by our poster that ClinCard offered “additional benefit” to diverse populations who especially require immediate expense reimbursement payment and supports recruitment and retention in this population where greater involvement and inclusion is sought.
Looking to the Future
Greenphire greatly enjoyed networking with our ICTMC colleagues. In our recent Greenphire summer survey, 96% of site responders in the UK agreed with this statement: “Providing technology solutions for patient engagement can positively impact recruitment and retention.”
As the world leader in digital clinical research participant payments, Greenphire seeks to partner with sites around the world and the UK to improve the efficiency of all clinical research related payments. We are here to help.
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