Building partnerships to ensure a successful trial

Section 5



James Fraser

Rachael Moloney, MHS

Ellen Tambor, MA

Leah Tuzzio, MPH


Contributing Editor

Karen Staman, MS

Gina Uhlenbrauck

Frequently Asked Questions



What if the health system leadership is resistant to your proposed intervention? What do you do when the providers don’t think the issue you want to study is important? When engaging health system partners, frame your research question to show how knowing the answer will benefit their priorities. Align your ideas with their mission, promote cost-saving and enhancement of patients’ needs. It’s all about head, heart, and heat. If you can get to the place where the system leaders own it, then they will want to see the results. Set the expectation for partners to take pride in doing research, understand what they don’t know, and be a part of the team.
What do you do when there is a real conflict in priorities? How do you wrestle divergence of opinions with different priorities? Partner with a local champion. There are multiple ways to find a champion for your research. It could be frontline clinicians and staff or health system leadership.
Nobody wants to volunteer or give up anything for free, and it takes resources to generate a pilot that will produce evidence to get the grant. How do I get past these roadblocks? Fully understand what the possible wins are, and frame the project around what the health system will gain. The rewards could be reductions in costs, increased patient satisfaction, or alignment with organizational goals and the mission of the health system.



Version History

Published December 15, 2018


Building partnerships to ensure a successful trial: FAQ. In: Rethinking Clinical Trials: A Living Textbook of Pragmatic Clinical Trials. Bethesda, MD: NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory. Available at: https://rethinkingclinicaltrials.org/chapters/engaging-stakeholders/faq/. Updated February 25, 2020. DOI: 10.28929/100.