We all are driven to make the clinical site experience an easy one so that staff can focus on screening patients rather than managing a multitude of clinical ancillary details. This way, critical data can be collected that will help get therapies to patients more quickly.
This blog series is dedicated to extending our focused and planful shopping habits toward purchasing ancillaries for clinical trials. Not only are planning, quantifying and packing essential elements, but also considerations related to site space, usage and demand.
At home, how often do you shop in bulk at a wholesale distributor, major supermarket or specialty store for your family needs? For instance, buying too much toilet paper might take up valuable storage space in your basement, but running out might cause you to pay more, compromise your preferred brand and add another action item to your already full day.
Knowing the setup and preferences for supplemental supplies at your trial sites often will improve quality while saving money and time. It’s also important to consider buying habits, approved vendors and types of clinical ancillaries required for the protocol.
Enrollment data might impact your decisions as well. Is this site steadily bringing on patients, or are they planning a marketing campaign that could result in a spike? You’d buy more groceries in advance if you were planning a party, and the same is true for ancillaries. Communications between the supply chain planning team and the clinical research teams about inventory and patient recruitment are essential for managing demand fluctuations. Understanding both existing and future intentions also will help determine when the next shipment should arrive and what it might include.
Based on our experience, here is some advice to consider:
1. Think about your supplies in detail rather than generically to reduce time, resources and project costs
2. Think carefully about units of measure and quantities
3. Keep in mind site space and capabilities during the planning process
4. Reflect on historical enrollment data when calculating/estimating future needs
5. Engage practical experts to help explore options for your supply chain
In summary, managing clinical ancillaries effectively is based on experience. Since this process is becoming more complex due to types of items, quantities and geographical considerations, click here to ask your Clinical Ancillary Management specific questions.