By Stuart Cotter, VP of Product Management
Pre-screening potential participants for a clinical study is common practice at most research sites. It can save time by quickly identifying those who may qualify for a study prior to having them move on to the informed consent process. Pre-screens can be done in person, over the phone, or in some cases, even online. Regardless of the collection method, the questions and any accompanying script must first be reviewed by the IRB to ensure the materials presented are not beyond the scope of the inclusion/exclusion criteria.
Often, low accrual or delays in clinical trials stem from an undersized pipeline of potential participants. When site staff must manually find participants for trials, or even when automated recruitment solutions don’t deliver as promised, it puts the trial’s viability at stake, with sites and sponsors in the hot seat.
If more trials made pre-screening a fixed part of the study lifecycle in a way that optimized both personnel and technology, many of these problems might be avoided. But too often, comprehensive pre-screening is overlooked in favor of more familiar, but also more outdated, manual tactics. Here’s why that’s a mistake — and why pre-screening is the great missed opportunity for modern day trial enrollment.