In today’s technology-enabled world, consumers expect instant gratification, especially when it comes to payments. The clinical trial industry, which historically has been slow to embrace new technologies, must recognize that it needs to adopt new payment technologies to continue to attract patients for clinical trials. The benefits that payment automation solutions can deliver to trials, such as increased patient retention rates and enhanced patient engagement, as well as streamlined internal processes, have never been more important.
Millions of people participate in clinical trials each year, and a majority of research sites reimburse these patients with cash, checks, gift cards or money orders, requiring site employees to spend significant time providing and tracking payments. Additionally, manual processes mean patients must wait for their payment to arrive, which can take months, and then requires the extra step of cashing or depositing it.
Sites run the risk of patients dropping out of a trial due to delays in getting paid or lack of funds for travel. Loss of a trial participant can be a critical blow to a clinical trial, especially if the trial itself is small or the pool of participants is severely limited. The ability to reimburse patients quickly is key to encouraging participants to stay active in their clinical trials.
Studies have found more advanced payment methods are preferred. UCLA recently completed a study to see if the payment method affected patient drop out. The university randomly divided trial participants into two groups: one that received money orders and one that received a reloadable incentive card (RIC). The survey indicated broad acceptance and positive feedback for the RIC, with scores favoring the RIC over money orders and cash payments. It also showed that the amount of time devoted to paying and retaining patients was decreased by 39.8 minutes and saved $14 in staff costs per subject.
Technology can have a tremendous impact on the success of a clinical trial and significantly reduce the inherent complexity. Automated payment solutions can provide benefits to sites and patients alike by streamlining work processes and increasing patient satisfaction.
As Greenphire’s CEO, Guest Contributor Jim Murphy leads the strategy and vision for the company, including client satisfaction, business operations, marketing and channel development. He is committed to fostering a culture of growth, innovation, excellence and employee satisfaction. Jim previously served as the president and managing director of Almac Clinical Technologies, where he was responsible for strategic, financial and operational leadership. More recently, Jim served as the president and managing director of Almac Pharmaceutical Services—Asia, where he established and managed the Asia Pacific business operations. Jim earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Master of Science in Molecular Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Jim resides in the Philadelphia area with his wife and three children. He has a keen interest in travel, cycling and water sports.
This article was reprinted from Volume 24, Issue 08, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe >>