Last month, we launched the inaugural CCTS Gold STAR (Striving Toward Accrual Radiance) Awards to recognize teams for exceptional utilization of the recently introduced Recruitment & Retention and Feasibility Worksheets, available through the CCTS Clinical Trials Kiosk. These worksheets, along with recruitment and retention consultations, are vital to the process of successful recruitment and retention planning.

BethBethany EtheridgeWe are pleased to congratulate our winners, the eMERGE – (Electronic MEdical Records and Genomics) study from the UAB Translational Pharmacogenomics Program, led by Dr. Nita Limdi. We asked Bethany Etheridge, Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator for eMERGE, to share a bit about what has helped lead her team to success.

What factors or strategies have made your team successful in patient recruitment?

“The most influential factors for successful recruiting are:
1. Be friendly- have a warm invitation
2. Be comfortable with your protocol and consent. The participant will be more likely to be at ease if you are
3. Don’t be afraid of small talk. When you can find common ground with a potential participant, it makes you more relatable and trustworthy
4. Find/ create support from someone they trust. –We approached the Primary care providers first. This allows them to be knowledgeable when the patient asks about the study. While the participant does not know/trust us they do trust their PCP.”

How have you approached retention efforts?

“Retention planning started with our study design. We started this project knowing retention is an incredible hurdle for many studies. We designed our recruitment to hopefully alleviate some of the work. We decided to focus on patients with a well-established relationship with UAB. This allowed us to start with a population that comes to UAB frequently.”                                

How did you design your strategy to create the groundwork for your success? How did the tools provided by the CRSP team help in your planning?

“I have learned so much through the Research Orientation Program and the Research Training Program. There are also several excellent Lunch and Learn presentations on recruitment. With these tools and the Feasibility Assessment Form and the UAB Recruitment and Retention worksheets, we have a design that is working very well. For anyone unsure if they should enroll in either the Research Orientation or the Research Training Program- I highly recommend it!” 

How does your team engage patients on a regular basis?

“We contact the patient prior to their appointment, meet them at their appointment in person, and then contact them again for their family history survey.”

How does your team celebrate success together?

“We celebrate each 100 patient milestone. Dr. Limdi gives us “shout outs” in both internal and external meetings. Having leadership recognize success and celebrate with you is a wonderful motivator.”

We will launch the next round of the Gold STAR Awards ahead of the next CCTS Lunch and Learn, which is scheduled for Dec. 13 from 11:30am-1pm. Click here to learn more about this award program and how to participate. Deadline to submit is December 1, 2022.

Questions about the Recruitment and Retention Worksheet or the other Clinical Research Support Program offerings mentioned?
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