CRA’s and coordinators don’t typically think about starting a new site. This is especially regrettable for coordinators who are highly knowledgeable about the industry and have a greater chance of running an effective site. CRA’s on the other hand, can produce high quality sites through their knowledge of sponsor expectations.
All CRA’s know that whenever a new amendment for a protocol is approved, each site must re re-consent their subjects. Failure to do so will result in a deviation. As mentioned in this video, CRA’s should ask the site to prepare a CAPA (Corrective Action Preventive Action) for major deviations such as failure to consent a study participant.
Several CRA students talk about their goals after being exposed to a research site. Many of the students in the video plan to either start their own site or pursue other career goals which don’t involve becoming a CRA. The group of students featured in this video also intend to stay in touch, thereby increasing the size of their network.
Savvy sites have developed methods for QA which sponsors greatly appreciate. One simple method is to have a research naive staff member who can perform data entry. After a while the staff member will know what needs to be recorded in a study visit and should be QA the coordinator.
Very few physicians learn how a medication goes from a lab to the pharmacy. These are the same physicians who don’t know how starting a research site can give physicians more control over their schedules and their income. PI’s actually have the can decline studies that they don’t want to participate in and can focus on patient populations that they prefer.
One CRA alumna had to go through 25 interviews and waited eight months before her first CRA position. During her journey she discovered that interviewers can be intimidating because they will often ask series of questions without providing feedback. This former CRA student was not lucky to land a new job, instead she had enough dedication to keep searching.
The Clinical Trials Guru will be releasing a book that will have site owners in mind. People from various other levels of experience will also find value in the book as it is intended to provide a roadmap from study startup to closing. The aim of the book is to make common industry practices more comprehensive.
New site owners who are looking for their first PI must make sure to communicate realistic expectations about clinical research. Potential PI’s should be aware that they may not see any additional income for a long time. Things such as site selections, patient recruitment, data entry and monitoring visits can affect payments.
Quality assurance will always look good on a CRA job application. Coordinators who wish to become CRA’s can easily include QA experience by simply reviewing another coordinator’s work.Site owners should be aware of this and should have system to ensure QA for their sponsors.
A Physician assistants are in a unique position where they can stay in a clinic full time and can use their medical expertise to answer patient questions when the physicians are unavailable. PA’s can therefore make an invaluable addition to any research site looking to help overworked PI’s. Some PA’s have so much experience in research and are so capable that sponsors have allowed a small number of them to be PI’s.
PI oversight is as important now as it has ever been. Therefore, new sites are advised to design facilitate PI oversight by establishing a strong communication line with the PI and having important documents readily available to the PI. Another tactic includes hiring PA’s so that the PI will have more time to oversee the site and provide correct systemic errors.
Be prepared to send out 200 applications to different companies If you are interested in becoming a CRA. Applying to more companies will increase your exposure, but you must have an adequate amount of research experience to be considered for a position. The guest in this video describes, how being a CRC helped him in his journey to becoming a CRA.
New site owners must have a strategy in place for recruiting and keeping their first PI interested in private research. One of the things that occurs frequently is that a physician will lose interest or simply forget about their responsibilities to the new site. One thing that can help prevent loss of interest is constant communication with the physician.
Research sites are full of opportunities for those who are interested in starting a CRO or simply getting their first job in the industry. For those interested in opening a CRO, opening a research site first allows for greater exposure to medical monitors or high ranking members from smaller biotech companies. For those simply searching for a new career, landing the right position at a site can also provide the exposure and experience needed for future endeavours.
Most sponsors are willing to agree with the prices that sites set during budget negotiations as long as proper justifications are made for each item. The reality is however, that not all sites are paid for all of the sponsor demands during the study. For example, enrollment is always given high importance but recruitment efforts are not compensated directly through budget agreements.
One of the best things you can do in the research industry is to become a generalist. As seen in the current industry trends, sponsors are becoming more involved in their own trials and they are beginning to set their expectations for sites and other research related professions. Those who are generalists may have an advantage over specialists because a decreased demand in one skill may be replaced by another skill.
Starting a new research site is difficult because of the many people that are involved during the initial phases. One of the tactics used to recruit physicians or other personnel involves visiting medical groups. These organizations can have high turnover rates which makes them potential resources.
This video reviews several questions that all CRA’s must know. Some of the topics covered include mechanics of EDC, the importance of signing an ICF, and basic research design. These questions are not the only things that a CRA but they are basic ideas that all CRA’s should be familiar with especially during an interview.
There are currently no safeguards to ensure that the quality of the data that sites provide will be of high quality. The guest in this video suggests that this trend is because the rules supporting Fair Market Value for research related duties does not reward physicians who provide cleaner or more timely data. The guest goes on to suggest that a move towards paying physicians more for better data may be the key to produce better research results.
Interviewers will often ask questions with no clear answers but it is important to be well informed in order to form intelligent responses. As discussed in this video, many of the questions will revolve around PI oversight and effective methods for documenting special events. Some of the questions are situational and will require knowledge about the different roles involved in research.