Initiatives to Accelerate and Enhance Recruitment
Below are initiatives to accelerate and enhance recruitment to clinical trials, ensuring broad access to clinical trials for a large and diverse patient population by leveraging both community-engaged approaches and informatics-driven strategies, optimized through local innovation and Recruitment Innovation Center (RIC) enabled strategies.
In January 2010 with the goal of increasing the number of participants in clinical studies at Yale. As an initial step, YCCI: 1) developed a website (yalestudies.org) along with posters, brochures, newspaper ads, transit ads, and community health fairs, in cooperation with stakeholders within the Medical School, Yale-New Haven Hospital, the University, and our surrounding neighborhoods and towns; 2) engaged community organizations to explain the clinical research process, the safeguards that protect participants' rights and safety, and the benefits of participation; and 3) provided templates to advertise studies and raise awareness of the "clinical research brand" at Yale. Although the Help us Discover campaign continues to add volunteers, recognizing that researchers need more help in attracting volunteers, YCCI has launched a series of new services and initiatives that leverage Yale’s electronic health record (EHR) to recruit potential research subjects, to improve subjects’ experience; and to provide support for research staff that will allow them to concentrate on carrying out their studies. The advent of Yale’s Epic EHR has enabled YCCI to find new ways of linking research to patient care. Since January 2015, MyChart has included a “Help Us Discover” tab that allows patients to set up a user profile for research participation. The profile allows patients to keep track of the kinds of studies that interest them and to sign up for trials.
Patients are also directed to yalestudies.org, YCCI’s clinical trials website, which has useful information about clinical research and is regularly updated with information for special populations such as children and hard-to-reach populations such as the elderly. For those who are not patients in the Yale-New Haven Health System, there will soon be a mechanism triggered from yalestudies.org that allows them to set up a MyChart account.
Access to clinical and translational research has been further enhanced by Yale’s Opt-Out policy, which gives investigators unprecedented access to the EHR for research. Institutional privacy and related policies have been updated to alert patients that, as a research institution, Yale allows access to medical records unless the patient chooses to opt out.
Recruitment Call Center
Another area in which investigators have requested help is in responding to potential volunteers. Study coordinators are often occupied with other tasks and have limited availability to field inquiries. To address this problem, YCCI launched a Recruitment Call Center in November 2014.