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Five steps to a smooth IRT vendor transition

Sunday, November 1, 2015

According to a 2015 market research report, the global clinical development outsourcing market will top $64 billion by 2020, with CROs managing nearly 72% of all clinical trials. As the outsourced model grows, sponsor-vendor relationships will play a much larger role in trial success.

Given this growing importance, sponsors must take proactive steps to monitor and enhance vendor relationships, and ensure smooth transitions between vendors when necessary. Interactive response technology (IRT/IVR/IWR) vendors can be challenging to transition, leaving some sponsors feeling it’s easier to simply accept a mediocre relationship. Accepting lower standards, however, can lead to missed deadlines, lost data and trials in crisis.

These steps will help sponsors transition before it’s too late:

  • Ensure your new IRT vendor can create an account management team with transition specialists. A team of experts with experience working both as vendors and sponsors can help maximize the impact of transitioning to a new vendor.
  • Develop appropriate governance, metrics and key performance indicators so the transition goes smoothly.
  • Alongside your vendor, build a roadmap outlining operational, study-specific and strategic needs. Instead of settling for a one-size-fits-all plan that can result in greater costs and delays, look for new vendors to provide custom solutions and reporting tools that meet your trial’s specific needs.
  • Once the blueprint is in place, avoid rebuilding your system from scratch and re-establishing standards. For example, to minimize backtracking, Cenduit utilizes a specification tool based on its own library so sponsors don’t need to conduct any additional User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
  • Confirm that your IRT vendor has the ability to adapt and integrate with multiple eClinical systems so data can move easily between software platforms.

These tips can simplify vendor transitions before a trial is in trouble, and allow sponsors to reap the benefits of improved IRT systems and vendor relationships—from system build through trial completion.


Written by Guest Writer Grant Dietrich. Dietrich has more than 12 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with expertise in IVR/IRT design management, clinical and supply chain management, project and program management including integration of clinical technologies, and pharmaceutical development. He has held various roles at Cenduit over the past seven years and currently serves as the account director to key clients and organizational initiatives, coordinating full collaboration between functional groups. He holds degrees from Rutgers, the University of Oklahoma and the U.S. Army Medical Department.

This article was reprinted from Volume 22, Issue 11, of The CenterWatch Monthly, an industry leading publication providing hard-hitting, authoritative business and financial coverage of the clinical research space. The Action Items section features short columns  focusing on actionable or how-to advice from clinical trial professionals. To submit an Action Item, please contact editorial@centerwatch.comSubscribe >>

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