Clinical trials. When you hear the phrase “clinical trial”, what images come to mind? Do you think of a lab? Do you think of lab rats? Do you think of testing? Do you think of experimentation?
Many people still have the misconception that being part of a clinical trial is similar to the picture at the beginning of this post.
In the past 3 years I have worked with several healthcare organizations that have been at risk of losing dollars, funding, and status due to a lack of enrolling new patients onto clinical trials. I have worked with Primary Investigators (PI’s) and other groups trying to obtain grant funding in building plans to enroll patients. To accelerate the enrollment of patients onto a clinical trial.
In doing the analysis in each of these communities there has been a lack in understanding what clinical trials really mean; better care.
In taking time to observe, live, and talk to community members you begin to understand what is meaningful, what is important, and what resonates with people. You begin to understand how they define a clinical trial, and how you can re-frame the story of clinical trials. How to use their “native tongue” to tell a new story about clinical trials.
A story that eliminates the thought of being a lab rat. Developing a story that allows patients to understand they have an increase in access to a care team. A story to illustrate that their outcomes are improved when on a clinical trial.
A clinical trial = standard of care +/- (plus or minus) an additional treatment that may potentially improve a patients outcome.
Standard of care = the care a patient would receive in almost all other settings. It also means that you typically have a physician, a nurse or nurses, and other clinical staff caring for you.
As part of a clinical trial, you also have a clinical trial team: a coordinator, a dedicated nurse, a dedicated medical director, and other staff members. You will have routine appointments scheduled. You may have additional blood work, imaging, pathology, genomics, other exams to ensure how well you are doing on a clinical trial. You get access to new healthcare technology.
There are more people focused on you. Focused on your treatment. Focused on how well you are doing, how you feel, and how you are doing all along your journey.
The clinical trial teams’ focus is not just during your active treatment, but they are also there after your treatments.
The team will meet with you at regular intervals after your initial treatment. They will be there to support you, answer questions, and follow you for a few years after you have completed treatment.
You have a team in place to ensure that you do not get lost in the system. In the transitions.
In my experience clinical trials needs a new story. A rebranding initiative.
Maybe: Treatment+ or PlatinumCare or PremiumOutcomes or OneTeam
Please feel free to leave your suggestions.
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek