Redefining Clinical Research: The Power of the Site Voice

February 15 2024  

Regardless of your organization or position in clinical research, I believe that we are all in the profession for the same common reason – we care.

First and foremost, we care deeply about the patients, caregivers, and healthy volunteers who seek curative or improved therapies for themselves and others across the globe. Additionally, we care about our professional partners in the clinical research ecosystem; including scientists and clinicians involved in compound development within pharma and biotech, as well as our CRO colleagues who support research execution. Finally, we care about the research sites who are at the center of clinical research and have direct contact with and care for participants. Without sites, clinical research doesn’t happen and I believe it is absolutely essential that the industry focuses on making the site (and participant) experience as positive and seamless as possible.  

During my 25+ years in clinical research, I have attended many conferences, but the inaugural Save Our Sites (SOS) Conference this month was truly unique. It was organized by independent clinical research sites from across the globe who came together to create a grass roots “Call to Action-Inspired” event. What made this conference special was that it was created without the support of a governing organizational body with resources and operational infrastructure. Instead, thought leaders and administrators from sites worked hard outside their regular job duties to create a “networking and strategically purposeful” conference.  

When we talk about the industry supporting sites, it begins with the site voice. Events like SOS offer an opportunity for sites to come together and share a common voice with discussions focused on approaches, challenges and strategic vision for how things can be done better for sites and participants, and ultimately to advance clinical research. Topics often discussed include site staffing, patient recruitment and retention, finance and budgeting, operational sustainability, technology, industry relationships and more. 

These types of events give sites a platform to connect and build a relationship with the other critical stakeholders who impact research execution – pharma, CROs, vendors and regulators. In every conversation I’ve had with site personnel, their commitment and passion for what they do is evident as they are dedicated to their patients and colleagues across the industry.

As I reflect back on what I’ve learned from my site colleagues and how it relates to my role at Greenphire, I am reminded of the post-it note I have on my desk which defines my job duty. It says, “to understand the pain points of our site partners and to help solve their problems.” In many ways, I believe that this captures the essence of the broader goal of the industry, which is to discuss and understand the collective pain points faced by sites and participants and to work together in a more collaborative manner with all partners in the clinical research ecosystem to find solutions and drive a better tomorrow for clinical research.  

Joe Gough, MA
Sr. Solutions Specialist, Site Partnerships

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