Meeting the Rising Challenge of Software Training for Clinical Trial Sites

September 28 2021

The need for technology has been trending upwards for years, even before being vastly accelerated by COVID-19. As we move further into the digital age, technology and software have become not only the norm in our everyday lives but also the foundation upon which entire businesses and industries are built. The days of pen to paper, tedious manual processes and lengthy turnaround times are falling further into the rearview mirror, as intuitive applications and automation platforms take the stage.

For clinical trial sites, the emergence of software suites have enabled research coordinators to greatly reduce, or entirely eliminate barriers that were once commonplace. Financial, logistical, and administrative challenges have all become increasingly simplified for site staff with fit-for-purpose systems, including Greenphire’s ClinCard (participant reimbursements), ConneX (participant travel) and eClinicalGPS (site payments). With technologies such as these in place, participant retention is on the rise, while administrative headaches are declining.

However, the advent of these continuously evolving applications brings forth a simple, yet often overlooked emerging challenge – proper user training. After all, a tool is only as valuable as its ability to be used effectively. 

In my time as a product trainer at Greenphire, having trained over 650 site users in the last 6 months, I have witnessed firsthand the growing challenge of technology suites for site staff. 

These researchers have become increasingly burdened with numerous software applications now required to use for various components of conducting a clinical trial, frequently with little to no guidance as to how the application works. In a survey conducted by Greenphire in partnership with SCRS, 13% of sites said they use 0-3 portals or applications, 12% use 4-6, 25% use 7-10, and 50% of sites reporting they use a staggering 11+ portals to run their trials. 

Oftentimes, users are provided with limited and minimally helpful materials for other technologies. The trainee is unable to ask questions, resulting in the rabbit hole of support tickets in order to address their queries.

Taking this feedback as a call to action, Greenphire has invested in multiple education  programs, both within our site-facing technology and live sessions conducted through a dedicated team of product trainers, offering system overviews and application demonstrations. 

What do these trainings look like? First, we always host them with a particular audience in mind, covering only the relevant products and application models for attendees. We know that site time is precious and if site coordinators are participating in a training, that training needs to cover exactly what they need to know so they don’t have to waste further time looking for answers. Additionally, we ensure that the trainings are globally available and conducted in various time zones. In Europe? We have trainers there, for example, so trainings are conducted at a time frame convenient for them. Also, in each training my colleagues and I conduct, participants are able to ask questions during or prior to the conclusion of the course. Any attendee with questions that are unable to be answered during the live session personally receives a follow-up email directly from a member of our team, ensuring that no stone is left unturned when it comes to their understanding of the system they are using. 

Alongside the launch of live training sessions, we are continuously creating additional reference guides and FAQs, and training materials are being developed and integrated directly into Greenphire systems, where they can be accessed by the application users at any time. These guides can already be found in the newly released Knowledge Center within eClinicalGPS, and are expected to be released for the ClinCard portal in the coming months.

This catered approach to user education has resulted in the successful training of over 1,000 Site Coordinators within the first four months since May of 2021, with overwhelmingly positive feedback in terms of its effectiveness for end users. It’s gratifying to witness site staff feeling empowered to begin their journey in using Greenphire products because they are fully equipped with the knowledge they need in order to efficiently and effectively utilize the applications to their full value throughout the lifecycle of their studies. It is powerful to see the effect that hands-on training can have for sites, so that they can continue to perform their life-saving research, without having to worry about administrative hurdles. 

Training is just one component of our comprehensive Client Experience. For more information about Greenphire Product Training for sites, please reach out to your Greenphire point of contact today!

Andrew Gerrard
Product Trainer, U.S.
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