28/02/2020 Eric Klaver

Working on solutions for sites


This time, in a research minute, I’m combining my thoughts on a topic with information about a conference that deals with this. The topic being the position of clinical research sites in trials.

Looking at the importance of the work of the sites for trials, their position is generally more vulnerable and dependent.

The investigator’s site hands-on protects the subjects and actually generates the data, both of primary importance. However, there is little opportunity for sites to get together and share their experiences. Clinical research conferences in general cover topics that are more generic research topics, and they mostly aim at industry attendance.

Research sites typically have a variety of questions, some trial-specific, however often more overall research questions. When those questions are being put before the sponsor/CRO representatives, sites are presented with different, regularly even contradicting answers. It’s one of the most heard complaints from sites. The difficulty to get sound answers on their questions with regards to the conduct of trials.

The sponsor/CRO representatives are often not equipped to answer those general questions. They get their information from their colleagues, and a game of whispers effect occurs. One person tells another something, they tell a third person, they tell a fourth person and the message changes in the transfer. It’s very hard for sites to get to the source of information.

Also, sites often operate very independently from other sites. There is little sharing of knowledge and experiences. There certainly are opportunities for some sites. For example, when training and speaking, in the past 6 months I’ve trained at an organisation of cardiology sites in the Netherlands, and last week I was honoured to be invited to speak at the 2nd International Research and Practice Conference, organised by the Acinus site in Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine. Both were opportunities for sites to share amongst each other, and at the Acinus conference even with attendance of sponsors and CROs, enabling communication about strengthening the collaboration.

Next week, I’ll be attending and speaking at the European Site Solutions Summit, organised by the SCRS, the Society for Clinical Research Sites. This is an organisation which I warm-heartedly support. Its sole purpose is to support clinical research sites in achieving site sustainability. The SCRS does that through their four pillars, advocacy, education, connection and mentorship. And one of the ways they encourage connection is by organising Site Solution Summits. Those are held around the world, the global summit in Florida in October, the Australia/New Zealand conference in July in Melbourne, an oncology focussed summit in Texas in January and the European summit this year in Lisbon, this March 9th and 10th.

The European Site Solutions Summit focuses on clinical research site performance and the growth and contributions that sites make in the clinical research enterprise. The conference provides highly sought-after custom regional content and networking opportunities and offers cutting-edge ideas to help sites successfully and proactively address increasingly complex challenges within the clinical research industry.

This year’s European Summit will be hosted on the beautiful coast of Lisbon, Portugal. Attendees can gain valuable takeaways for their organisation from sessions that address current challenges and insights such as:

  • The Site Landscape: Benchmark Your Site
  • Updates to European Regulations (ECTR & MDR): How it Works & What You Need to Know
  • Diversity Awareness in Recruitment & its Impact on Your Community
  • The Clinical Research Site of the Future
  • Oncology Clinical Trials: Past, Present & Future
  • Patient Centricity, Site Business Development, Patient Recruitment, Decentralised Studies 

This is the event where change is realised. Remove the computer screens and talk directly with key leaders to build tomorrow’s clinical research industry.

Sharing knowledge, engaging in conversation, working towards solutions, all aimed at the clinical research sites. In a research conference.