4 Tips for Building Your Site's Database
Get a head start on patient recruitment by cultivating a robust patient database filled with patients in your site’s core indications. Whether you're a new research site trying to get established, or you’ve heard industry buzz about some upcoming hot therapeutic areas, we’ve got some tried and true strategies that will help beef up your database. Use these strategies to build and maintain a patient database filled with high-quality potential participants.
1. On-going free screening services
Play an active role in your community by hosting free screening services. For example, if your site is interested in Alzheimer studies, host free memory screenings. Free screenings are a welcome service, particularly for people with limited access to healthcare. Screenings both provide value to the community and familiarize the public with your site. Community events like health fairs and awareness walks are great places to set up screening booths. Consider establishing a referral channel with local healthcare providers so you can direct newly diagnosed patients from screenings to a healthcare provider. This way, patients get in contact with the help they need, and your site builds relationships with providers that can later refer their own qualified patients into your trials.
2. Leverage your online presence
Develop helpful, patient-friendly content about your site’s main therapeutic areas and use existing marketing channels to push it out.
- Blogs: Blogs build your site’s reputation as a source of health information, improving trust and credibility and staying at the top-of-mind for potential patients. Include a contact form at the bottom of every blog to give web visitors an opportunity to their interest in studies.
- Social media: Establish or enhance your site's presence on social media to drive traffic to your site. Facebook and Twitter are great platforms for widening the reach of blog posts and posting helpful information about your enrolling indications. You can also use your site's social media profiles to engage with relevant patient groups and advocacy organizations and announce new studies.
3. Generic online advertising
Run generic ads on Google and Facebook to attract new patients. The expansive targeting options offered by online advertising make it a great outlet for patient recruitment. Google ads target users based on keyword searches and geographic location so you can capture patients in your site’s area actively searching for treatment options for a specific indication. Facebook can target ads based on age, gender, geographic location, and interests. For example, a Facebook ad can be targeted to reach males over 25 within 30 miles of a location, who have liked pages and joined groups related to depression.
4. Database Outreach
Growing the patient database is certainly an important step for improving patient recruitment at your site. However, engaging with this database is another crucial piece to the puzzle. Maintain the health of your patient database by maintaining a relationship with the subjects. Inform patients in the site’s existing database of potential new study opportunities in new therapeutic areas. Perhaps someone that signed on for a dermatology trial a few years ago would be interested in a new depression study.
- Email: Use email to keep in touch with the patients in your database. Send monthly or quarterly eNewsletters as a way to announce any new studies, staff highlights, or any events.
- Text blasts: When you sign on a new study, review patient charts and send text alerts to patients in the database that may qualify.
- “Refer A Friend” programs: At our own sites, we’ve created IRB-approved Refer-A-Friend programs that encourage people in the database to recommend family and friends for enrolling studies. This type of program both engages past participants, and encourages them to act as referral sources for people in their circle.
These 4 tips are just the tip of the iceberg for opportunities to expand your patient database. Whether you're looking to grow your database, or recruit patients for a particularly tough study, our patient recruitment specialists are here for you.