Research Staff Optimization: How to Get There

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Sep 12, 2017

Research Staff Optimization: How to Get There

 Staffing has the highest impact on every aspect of clinical trial activity, affecting anything from compliance to the number of trials you can conduct, yet is the most difficult to measure. How the individual staff functions, as well as how they are aligned and distributed, is key to financial viability and operational efficiency.

Whether you work with a hospital, health system, academic medical center or physician practice, conducting a metrics driven staff-right analysis is the best way to determine if your current staffing structure is fully optimized, allowing your clinical research program to be as successful and profitable as possible.

Multiple factors need to be taken into consideration when conducting a staff-right analysis, including trial volume, intensity and patient activity. Examine each position within your staff and that position’s corresponding responsibilities and required activities, thoroughly, to best determine how your staffing structure can be improved or built upon.

During this analysis, it is important to ask how much time is being spent on what processes, such as:

  • Screening and Enrollment
  • Data Collection and Reporting
  • Regulatory Document Processing and IRB Submissions
  • Sponsor Budget and Contract Negotiations
  • Financial Analysis and Management
  • Sponsor Relations and Communications
  • Physician Relations and Investigator Interactions


The information gathered from the analysis will give you a full breakdown of your clinical research program’s staffing capacity, providing insights like:

  • Number of FTEs
  • Daily Responsibilities
  • Staff Assignments
  • Number of Active Trials
  • Number of Follow Up Trials
  • Phase and Type of Trials
  • Number of Patients and Their Status


Whether you believe your program is running at peak efficiency, or has some room for improvement, conducting at staff-right analysis should be a Best Practice for managing clinical research. Not only does it help you optimize operational efficiency, but it may give you insights into questions about your research program you didn’t even know needed to be asked.


For more information regarding clinical research staffing structure, contact us. GuideStar’s research team has years of experience with clinical research program site structure, staffing, finance, compliance and communications.

GuideStar works with hospitals, health systems and physician practices around the country to build and support clinical research programs. From helping organizations incorporate a clinical trial strategy to providing management guidance and support, our service delivery is based on operational and financial best practices to ensure optimal results for research programs.


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