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Addressing Global Workflow Complexities for Clinical Trials

The Importance of Supporting Emerging Clinical Trial Markets

Clinical trials are becoming increasingly globalized. The most striking result of this trend is that several newer markets are becoming recurring contributors to clinical research, bringing new medications and treatments to market. This trend is only increasing – with Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) being a prime example of emerging clinical trial regions.

Poland, in particular, has proven to play a much larger role in the clinical research industry over the years. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, from 2000 to 2010 there were nearly 2,000 study starts. That number has more than doubled over the past decade with approximately 4,500 study starts in Poland between 2010 and 2020.

While still comprising a relatively small percentage of global clinical trial activity, the steady increase indicates that these regions should not be ignored but rather supported in their growth. There are, however, challenges associated with conducting clinical trials in newer markets. Processes and regulations may differ by country / region, making standardization across a global study nearly impossible.

As it relates to clinical and administrative workflows, one-size does not fit all. For example, sites in Poland have different requirements and processes than sites in the United States. As such, solutions that are built to streamline site workflows cannot address all markets as if they are the same.

The key to developing solutions that meet all clinical and administrative workflow requirements and regulations is to listen to those who live and breathe these processes.

User Feedback Drives Innovation: Variable Split Payments

Saying “we value our clients’ feedback” may sound like a cliché, but at Greenphire it is core to who we are. In fact, our product roadmap is built based on the needs, challenges and direct input we receive from our clients.

This past year, we had the opportunity to hear directly from the users of our solutions as Greenphire hosted User Forums in Australia and Poland. During these day-long sessions, we were able to gain critical insights into the daily challenges of those in various roles within clinical research.

While meeting with users in Poland, we received valuable feedback regarding one of their main challenges. Unlike in other markets, in Poland (as well as other CEE countries), sites and Principal Investigators (PIs) are contracted as separate entities; therefore, upon payment by the sponsor, it is agreed that a portion of that payment will be transferred to the site and a portion will be transferred to the PI. In addition, the amount received by the PI may also be further allocated among contracted members of the study team. The individuals receiving payment within the team and the amounts they receive can vary depending on the study activities completed and are unknown at the time of contracting. Historically, generating a variable split payment has been quite a manual process to ensure funds are accurately allocated among the appropriate contracted parties.

Based on these user insights, it was clear that there was a need in the market for enabling variable split payments. In response, Greenphire tackled just that – developing a new feature to support this capability within eClinicalGPS, our investigator payment solution. This feature provides flexibility for allocating payments (fixed and variable) among multiple payees at a site. As clinical trial activities can be performed by various roles within a site, users (either sponsor or site) can now appropriately allocate payments to the payees who performed the activity directly from within the eClinicalGPS portal.

We have since received very positive feedback from those who have used this feature and excitement among those looking to implement it. However, the variable split payment feature is just one example of a need that was not being met in the market. There are many workflow nuances that research sites must deal with globally – resulting in administrative tasks that take time and focus away from the primary goal of conducting research.

With challenge comes opportunity and at Greenphire we will continue working with and listening to clients and users to gain insights, and ultimately reduce administrative burdens so that new and existing markets worldwide can increase efficiency and deliver better, smarter clinical trials.

Learn more about improving your clinical trial payment workflows in this ebook: Mission: Control Site Payments

Ryan Kelly
Written by Ryan Kelly

Ryan is the Product Manager for the eClinicalGPS, Greenphire's financial management technology for clinical trials.