Optimizing the clinical trials process

 

Process improvement helped healthcare enterprise remove barriers to growth

At a glance

Following a period of rapid growth, the leaders of a large healthcare enterprise found themselves facing a sales plateau and a diminished customer experience due to inefficient administration of clinical trial processes.

Customer challenge

Our client had recently experienced a rapid expansion that outstripped the capabilities of their clinical trial resources, creating a litany of challenges. Internal teams were at capacity, doing their best to keep the trials program running with the tools they had available. A series of “band-aid” solutions — such as new trainings with limited scope and materials, ad hoc changes to the technology stack, and changes to the team structure — delivered only limited improvements.

 

As a result of these challenges, the company was unable to provide timely responses or value-add services, causing the customer experience to suffer.

Approach and solution

Logic20/20 had a successful relationship with this client that began more than a decade earlier. Having seen positive results from previous projects with us, they knew we were the right choice to address their challenges around the clinical trials process.

 

We approached this project holistically, beginning with

  • • More than 60 stakeholder interviews
  • • An end-to-end process flow analysis focused on pain points, bottlenecks, and opportunities for improvement
  • • Analysis of clinical trials data from the previous three years, encompassing nearly 200 studies
  • • Customer feedback from research managers and directors, regulatory personnel, and physicians at numerous clinics

Upon analyzing the data we gathered, we identified three barriers to our client’s further growth. The first block was lack of standardization, which made the study initiation process unscalable to accommodate the higher volume of trials. Second, the client was using inefficient legacy tools that required time-consuming manual intervention. Finally, the client lacked pre-emptive tactics for identifying recurring problems and preventing failures, hampering their ability to identify the effectiveness of specific resources or teams.

 

Our team documented more than 60 key findings and delivered the associated recommendations to our client. To cite one example, we noted that the existing approach to trial initiation was disjointed, slow, and impaired by arbitrary barriers, silos, and bottlenecks, resulting in constant friction throughout the process. We recommended implementing a “trigger”-based procedure that allows segments of the process to move forward even when other stages had stalled, allowing progress to occur in situations that previously would have brought the entire system to a halt.

Approach and solution

After the project was complete, our client noticed improvements in three key areas:

  • • More trials and more patients: Our client now performs between one and three additional trials and accommodates 114 additional patients per year.
  • • Reduced risk: Our client has the ability to “pause” the trials process to avoid misuse of resources.
  • • Improved service quality and clinic experience: Our client’s trials open 2–3 weeks faster, and rework on document collection has declined dramatically.

 

Learn more about how we support healthcare organizations