HEALTH / WELL-BEING

A cross-cutting approach to enhancing clinical trial site success : The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites (NODES) model

Article

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cooperative Studies Program established the Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites (NODES) to enhance recruitment into clinical trials.

Abstract

Background Recruitment into clinical trials remains a key determinant to study completion and success. While various strategies have been proposed, it is unclear how they apply across different populations, diseases, and/or study goals. The ability to effectively overcome challenges may require different approaches that more broadly focus on addressing obstacles among sites that cannot be overcome by individual studies. Methods The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cooperative Studies Program (CSP) established the Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites (NODES) as a consortium of sites to generate systematic site-level solutions to more efficiently recruit in CSP studies. Initial activities identified priorities and developed approaches through team-based efforts. Metrics were also developed to assess overall network performance. Results Network efforts produced several new strategies and best practices for common problems in CSP research. Recruitment strategies included bringing studies to patients and developing data programs using algorithms for finding eligible patients. Efficiency efforts focused on cross-training and standardizing performance reports. Conclusion NODES addressed site challenges in clinical trial recruitment and management by taking an overall approach that looked at the system rather than individual studies. Practices and operational changes were implemented for CSP research related to recruitment, staff training and research methodology. The network activities suggest that team-based development of tools and insights may help better identify targets and increase efficiencies for clinical trials recruitment.

Full Reference

Condon, D., Beck, D., Kenworthy-Heinige, T., Bratcher, K., O'Leary, M., Ashghar, A., Willis, C., Johnson, M., Huang, G. (2017). A cross-cutting approach to enhancing clinical trial site success: The Department of Veterans Affairs' Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites (NODES) model. Contemporary Clinical Trials. Vol: 6, p. 78-84.