A business approach to trial recruitment

With important healthcare policy decisions depending on the results of clinical trials and new evidence suggesting
that fast trial recruitment can even help reduce carbon emissions, a good patient recruitment plan is imperative to the success of a trial. However, many trials
fail to reach their target
size
leading to time extensions and increased costs. A number of strategies have been proposed to improve trial
recruitment
. This week in Trials, Alison McDonald and
colleagues describe a new proposal.

While on the surface business models and medical research may seem unrelated, they do share some common goals such as striving to find and
maintain customers/patients. The business model describes how
business methodology such as building brand
values
and making the sale can be used to guide trial recruitment plans and
diagnose problems in trial design.

Using insights from three case studies, McDonald and
colleagues discuss the implementation and feasibility of the business model to clinical
trial recruitment. To make the approach more accessible to trialists, they
provide a translation of the business model into terminology commonly used in
clinical trials.  However, further work is to be done so that the model
can be applied consistently to all trials.

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