Patient reminder programs – increasing compliance and reducing costs
Patient Reminders Ltd
Patients don’t mean to forget, they are busy, stressed, in pain or suffering.
Your clinical trial protocol and study end points are probably the furthest from their mind and possibly even further still if it’s a family member, friend or social worker providing support.
Why is it so important?
Many study end points depend on procedures performed at the site or hospital to confirm efficacy. Therefore, compliance with the clinical trial protocol is critical for study success.
Patient compliance is often overlooked or forgotten.
Patient compliance in some indications is easier than others. Compliance varies greatly:
• Take HIV and a high quality novel drug from a respected company. You often find highly motivated compliant patients, eager to engage in highly complex protocols, regardless of the demands being made.
• Yet, I have seen chronically sick cancer patients fail to return for scans after just 6 months simply because they are feeling so much better.
I often wonder how this is possible. Maybe it’s due to denial or fear. Regardless, the cost to pharma and the impact to study success can be tremendous and the burden on site huge.
Subjects and Patients are people. We all enjoy respectful, elegant, thoughtful communications that help us in our busy lives.
“Regardless, the cost to pharma and the impact to study success can be tremendous and the burden on site huge.”
Why is it often neglected?
Many study teams are so busy getting studies started that they often feel that the site should be taking care of patient motivation, protocol compliance and patient retention. A compliance program is something to worry about IF we have a problem later. After-all, why else are we rewarding a clinic or site?
What does a patient reminder program entail
A patient reminder services could consists of:
• Recorded voice messages (IVR)
• SMS, one or two way
• Electronic calendar reminders for those that use digital calendars.
These messages should be perfectly timed to help patients and caregivers:
• Comply with medication regimens to aid correct dosing or manage new disease states
• Correctly complete their paper Patient Reported Outcome Diary at the right time
• Fast or prepare for the next visit. Maybe gathering those important samples to take with them to the clinic
• Attend site on time, allowing for parking, busy traffic while also providing a site telephone number should they need to call
• Remain motivated. Maybe after the visit, or long period of participation, maybe a thank you message or educational link
The result is a compliant, evaluable patient, engaged within your study.
Easy deployment &, positive return on investment
A complete patient reminder program can be deployed for less than the cost of losing 2-18 evaluable patients and provides many other additional side benefits. These can include:
• Mass communication to all patients and site staff that the study has stopped. Providing significant savings and resource wastage.
• Supporting complex dose titration or medication regimens where compliance should be recorded
• Aiding site telephone interviews
• The gathering of compliance evidence, using two way SMS, email or IVR
• Playing a central role in your mHealth study (mobile Health driven study)
• Event driven communications to aid event or adaptive study design
“One article claims that 85% of US studies fail to retain the correct number of evaluable patients with some suffering 30% early patient withdrawal or lost to follow up.”
Claims of non-compliance, the cost and effects vary greatly with many findings published. One article claims that 85% of US studies fail to retain the correct number of evaluable patients with some suffering 30% early patient withdrawal or lost to follow up.
It is important to understand more about the costs and the impacts by considering each therapeutic area, company type and size.
We are trying to understand more about the cost of non-compliance and would appreciate your help. You can participate and add your data to the survey here:
All data is blinded with findings being shared every 6 months. We will provide definitive cost tables and how these change over the years. We would also be delighted to hear from people wishing to analyze the blinded data to draw and document conclusions.
About the author:
Bernie Thomas can be contacted at Bernie@patient-reminders.com.
Patient reminders Ltd can be found on:
We would be delighted to host a 20 minute web meeting, enroll you and your team too as patients and a Nurse so you can see for yourself how easy it is to use.
What is the real cost of non-compliance?