August 23, 2019: Oh Yes, We Have Tons of Patients Who Can Do This Study! (Vanita R. Aroda, MD)


Vanita R. Aroda, MD
Director of Diabetes Clinical Research
Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School


Oh Yes, We Have Tons of Patients Who Can Do This Study!


Patient engagement; Patient recruitment and retention; Clinician engagement; Health care systems; Multicenter clinical trials; Electronic health record

Key Points

  • Research occurs beyond the silo. Effective large-scale multicenter clinical trial recruitment requires an accessible network of potential participants.
  • Engage colleagues and the healthcare system as part of the collaborative journey across the trial’s lifecycle.
  • It is highly recommended to do a role-playing exercise with the study team to prevent fumbles when engaging and recruiting study participants.
  • The science, the protocols, and the data are all important, but it is the essential human element that makes it all happen.

Discussion Themes

Participant retention is really a continuation of good recruitment and engagement.

Make sure your database query makes clinical sense and is the best fit to answer your study question. Don’t spend time on the wrong data.

What other recruitment opportunities or techniques can sites use after they exhaust their patient panel?

Read more about the scalability of an EHR-based approach to patient recruitment in a diabetes study by Dr. Varoda and colleagues in Clinical Trials (2019).


#pctGR, @Collaboratory1