Clinical trial educators make sense for diabetes patients
By: Susan Sawyer, BSN, RN, CDE | November 13, 2015
Tomorrow, November 14, is World Diabetes Day, a day to acknowledge diabetes patients and the great strides we are making across the health care industry to help people prevent and treat this life-long disease. One way we are working to develop and deliver better treatments to patients faster is by improving the way we recruit and support patients throughout clinical trials.
This is where Clinical Trial Educators (CTEs) come in. CTEs are typically registered nurses who are specifically chosen for trials because they specialize in a specific disease category and understand the unique needs of patients and their healthcare providers in the clinical trial environment. They can play a key role in ensuring patients feel like a valued part of the trial process, and that all of their needs are met with minimum disruption, discomfort, or concern.
Having such patient-focused experts on the team doesn’t just benefit the patients. By helping the researchers and healthcare providers streamline the care experience and improve patient satisfaction, they create serious savings for sponsors. When CTEs join the research team, trials tend to be completed early — sometimes months ahead of schedule — which saves a substantial amount of money and increases the opportunity to beat competitors to market. And because CTEs provide training and support to site staff, they create a legacy of knowledge that will bolster the efficiency and value of these sites for future trials.
How CTEs work
CTEs add value throughout the clinical trial process, providing knowledge, support and community engagement to improve the quality, efficiency and value of their trials.
Ultimately, CTEs improve the patient experience and create an educated consumer network, which can be translated into more effective market launch and improved health outcomes. As clinical trials become more complex — involving new drug categories and devices, and difficult-to-recruit patient populations — such support improves the overall patient experience, which is vital to the sponsors if they want to speed the deliver process while improving the data coming out of these efforts. These experts may add a little upfront cost to the trial budget, but the long-term value they provide, for both patients and staff, is more than worth it.