Decoding How Sponsors Evaluate Research Sites for Clinical Trials

When selecting clinical research sites for their trials, sponsors look for a blend of capabilities, resources, and a proven track record that promises the best outcomes for their studies. With sponsors seeking top-performing sites that align with their trial objectives, the ability to showcase expertise, efficiency, and reliability is key component of successful to success. This selection process is crucial as the chosen sites directly impact the efficiency, compliance, and ultimately the success of the clinical trials.  

In this blog, we’ll explore the key factors that sponsors consider when evaluating potential clinical research sites. From the expertise of the staff and the facility’s infrastructure to patient recruitment strategies and regulatory compliance, understanding what sponsors are looking for can help clinical sites not only meet but exceed these expectations. Whether you’re a seasoned investigator or a site looking to attract more trials, this insight into sponsor priorities will provide valuable guidance on how clinical research sites can use purpose-built technology, like PROPEL, built by Devana Solutions, to demonstrate that they are a high-performing site that stands out in a competitive field. 

Site Experience and Expertise 

One of the primary considerations for sponsors during site selection is experience and expertise. Sponsors prefer sites with a proven track record of successfully conducting similar trials, demonstrated by a history of patient recruitment, retention, and data quality. Additionally, sites and Physician Investigators (PIs) having expertise in specific therapeutic areas or specialized procedures relevant to the trial protocol is also highly valued.   

By centralizing data management, PROPEL is a pioneering platform that enables sites to efficiently track and report on key performance metrics. This consolidation of data within a single system streamlines operations, offering unprecedented visibility into trial progress and site performance. With its powerful analytics and reporting capabilities, PROPEL enables research sites to transparently showcase their past and current performance metrics to sponsors. From patient recruitment statistics in a given indication to site activation timelines, PROPEL generates customizable reports highlighting a site’s efficiency and effectiveness.  With PROPEL, sites can effectively monitor their performance, identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate their capabilities to sponsors with unparalleled precision and efficiency. Sponsors appreciate sites that can provide transparent and timely performance data, as it allows them to make informed decisions when selecting partners for their trials. Moreover, this transparency enhances the site’s reputation and ultimately strengthens the overall partnership between sites and sponsors. 

Patient Population and Recruitment Potential 

Patient retention and recruitment is another pivotal factor for success in clinical trials. Access to diverse patient pools is particularly important. Clinical research sites are assessed by sponsors based on their access to the target patient population and their innovative strategies for patient recruitment. Sponsors assess clinical research sites based on their access to the target patient population and their strategies for patient recruitment.   

In recent years, there has been a growing mandate to improve diversity in clinical trial populations. This push is driven by the recognition that diverse populations may respond differently to treatments, which has significant implications for the generalizability of trial results. In fact, regulatory bodies like the FDA in the United States have issued guidelines that encourage the inclusion of varied demographic groups in clinical trials to ensure that the findings are applicable to a broader population. These guidelines recommend that trial designs consider factors such as age, gender, and racial and ethnic backgrounds. Sites that have established relationships with patient communities often have an advantage. These relationships facilitate trust and communication, which are crucial for encouraging participation and ensuring participants remain engaged throughout the trial.   

Sponsors value sites that can leverage past and real-time data analytics to drive continuous improvement and ensure the success of their trials. PROPEL’s advanced analytics capabilities provide clinical research sites with invaluable insights into trial performance. By analyzing site metrics, patient recruitment trends, and operational efficiency indicators, sites can make data-driven decisions that optimize trial strategies and resource allocation. Additionally, sites can track which patient recruitment methods have worked the best in the past to inform future decisions. Plus, PROPEL’s seamless integrations with the leading CTMS providers allows for a full-cycle view of past trial performance and patient recruitment.  

Site Facility and Resources 

The physical infrastructure and resources available at a site are carefully evaluated by sponsors. This includes the availability of state-of-the-art facilities for patient visits, laboratory capabilities for sample processing, and access to necessary equipment and technology. Adequate staffing, including trained research personnel and support staff, is essential for efficient trial conduct.  

Using comprehensive site profiles, PROPEL makes it easy to see all the key capabilities, equipment, and staff members in one place. For larger site networks, PROPEL enables central teams to query all their sites and filter by specific criteria, including equipment and therapeutic specialties. This makes it easy for research site organizations of all sizes to respond quickly to sponsors about how their available resources match up to the trial opportunity.

Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance 

Sponsors are increasingly vigilant about regulatory compliance, given its impact on the integrity and validity of trial results. Sites that can demonstrate that they prioritize and manage regulatory aspects effectively are often more attractive to sponsors. This includes compliance with Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines, adherence to protocol requirements, and timely reporting of adverse events. Sites with robust quality assurance processes and a culture of continuous improvement tend to be favored by sponsors.  

PROPEL simplifies regulatory compliance for sites, offering a comprehensive platform for tracking all necessary regulatory documents. The platform includes automated compliance workflows, which significantly reduces the potential for human error and improves the efficiency of compliance processes. Furthermore, PROPEL provides detailed audit trails for sites to consistently verify and document their compliance status throughout the clinical trial process. Altogether, PROPEL helps sites demonstrate their commitment to maintaining high-quality standards. 

Budget and Contract Negotiation 

While not the sole determining factor, budget considerations play another significant role in site selection. Sponsors evaluate potential sites based on their proposed budgets, which include personnel costs, overhead expenses, and any additional services required. Additionally, a site’s negotiation skills and their ability to offer flexible contract terms can also influence site selection decisions.  

PROPEL further optimizes trial management by centralizing tasks and automating many routine workflows, thereby improving efficiency, reducing the administrative burden, saving time and money, and minimizing errors. The platform’s ability to capture real-time data allows research sites to document these efficiencies and cost savings through detailed reports and key performance indicators (KPIs). This capability helps sites distinguish themselves in a competitive field.  Sponsors are drawn to sites that can demonstrate streamlined operations, as it signifies a commitment to excellence and a focus on delivering high-quality data within stipulated timelines. 

Communication and Collaboration 

Effective communication and collaboration between sponsors and clinical research sites are essential for the smooth conduct of clinical trials. Sponsors further evaluate sites based on their responsiveness, transparency, and willingness to collaborate on trial-related activities. Sites that demonstrate proactive communication and a commitment to addressing sponsor concerns are more likely to be selected as effective collaboration is a cornerstone of successful clinical trials.   

PROPEL is purpose-built to facilitate seamless communication and collaboration among site teams, sponsors, CROs, and other stakeholders. Real-time sharing of information, progress updates, and feedback fosters a collaborative environment that instills confidence in sponsors. Sites that leverage PROPEL to enhance collaboration and data-sharing are more likely to stand out to sponsors seeking reliable partners. 

Stand Out with PROPEL 

Selecting the right clinical research sites is a critical step in the success of clinical trials. Sponsors carefully evaluate sites based on various factors, including experience, patient recruitment potential, facilities, and more. Devana Solutions’ one-of-a-kind PROPEL platform empowers sites to elevate their performance and stand out to sponsors. By streamlining and automating operations, enhancing collaboration, enabling data-driven decision-making, ensuring regulatory compliance, and providing transparent performance metrics, PROPEL equips sites with the tools they need to showcase their expertise and reliability. As sponsors seek out top performing sites to partner with, PROPEL emerges as a key differentiator that enables research sites to shine and win more trial opportunities from sponsors and CROs.  

Devana Solutions  

A RealTime Software Solutions Company, Devana Solutionsis an innovative cloud-based clinical trial software provider that supports real-time collaboration between central research operations professionals and decentralized clinicians serving patients in diverse communities. Devana Solutions even bridges the technology access and data divide by seamlessly and securely connecting decentralized researchers to other mission-critical clinical trials systems.   

Let us show you in more detail what Better Data, Better Decisions, Better Outcomes could do for your clinical trial processes.Book a demo with Devana Solutions today to learn about our cloud-based data analytics clinical trial software for the clinical trials industry that integrates seamlessly with CTMS and other key systems to keep success in the crosshairs.  

Read More: Case Study – Accellacare (ICON’s Global Site Network) & Oncacare (specialized oncology site network) 

Advancing Clinical Trial Site Management: Strategies for Improved Performance

One common frustration in the initiation phase of clinical trials is the frequent occurrence of delays. In an analysis published by Nature, nearly a quarter of all trials experienced setbacks due to strategic issues, commercial barriers, and operational challenges. The financial repercussions of such setbacks are significant, with drug developers facing potential losses ranging from $600,000 to $8 million per day. While this statistic is commonly seen as the cost of doing business, effective site management empowered by the right technology can help save time and money throughout the life of a clinical trial. 

Devana Solutions’ PROPEL platform provides a cutting-edge solution designed to transform site management and empower central and site-based teams alike with tools for accelerating study startup, improving site turnaround times, and more. PROPEL fosters a strong connection between both teams, allowing for interactions during study startup and beyond, from collaborating on contracts and budgets for a given trial to determining equipment needs for upcoming studies. Based on internal analysis, clients have saved up to 14.25 hours per study activation and a 76% reduced contract and budget turnaround time thanks to PROPEL’s unique streamlined workflows and improved trial management tools. 

Establish Centralized Operations 

It is crucial for clinical research sites to have a central and reliable source of information for all aspects of a clinical trial. From study startup to regulatory document management, PROPEL consolidates critical functions into a single, user-friendly platform and serves as the centralized hub and project management tool for both central and site-based teams.  

PROPEL Trial Record.

With consolidated operations, research organizations can more easily develop standardized processes across all sites and teams – saving time and money. PROPEL’s advanced study startup and project management tools allow trials to progress quickly, with automated alerts keeping everyone on task. PROPEL’s comprehensive site and contact profiles also help with site management and oversight, storing all related documents and information for a given site, investigator, office staff member, vendor, and more. Users are notified of expiring certifications and can easily share updates to keep profiles current. 

But PROPEL doesn’t stop at sites and operations teams – it connects every functional group in the organization, including business development, feasibility, finance, regulatory, leadership, and more, – keeping everyone on the same page using a secure, shared platform. This streamlining of operations enhances efficiency, reduces the risk of errors, and ensures that sites can focus on what matters most – helping patients and advancing clinical trials. 

Boost Collaboration 

Effective and timely collaboration is the heartbeat of successful clinical trials. PROPEL facilitates seamless communication among research sites, central team members, leadership, sponsors, CROs, and other stakeholders. Its integrated features such as threaded chat conversations enable real-time sharing of information, documents, progress updates, and feedback – fostering a collaborative environment that accelerates decision-making and enhances the overall efficiency of individual sites. All correspondence is also logged for future reference and reporting.   

When it comes to selecting a site for a trial, PROPEL allows central teams to query all sites in their network, filter key capabilities and equipment, and send opportunities directly within the platform. Sites are notified upon receiving a new trial opportunity, allowing them to review the specifics, determine the best investigator, and instantly provide feedback to central teams – all using the same system. There’s no need to sift through emails or physical files because all the necessary information is located within PROPEL. As sites respond to opportunities, the system tracks all responses and turnaround timing metrics.  

Once a trial begins, research professionals can quickly share protocols, contracts, and other supporting trial documentation and updates with each other, no matter their location. Both site and central team members can also update milestones as trials progress – speeding study startup and improving visibility across the organization. 

Implement Data-Driven Decision-Making 

PROPEL Site Activity Dashboard.

For leadership teams, PROPEL goes beyond simple data management by offering powerful analytic tools. Organizations can leverage PROPEL’s custom dashboards and reports to gain actionable insights into trends such as patient recruitment, site performance, and more. This empowers central team members to make data-driven decisions on the fly, allowing them to react quickly to changes and new information as they optimize resource allocation, improve recruitment strategies, and enhance overall trial outcomes. 

Final Thoughts 

Standing out to CROs and sponsors is a critical feat for sites looking to grow their business and win more trial opportunities. In general, CROs and sponsors are looking for sites and networks with past experience in a given indication, good patient recruitment and retention rates, and overall quick turnaround times. PROPEL helps sites capture this data automatically as trials progress through the systems and displays it in the form of powerful dashboards and reports, making your data easy to share with both internal and external stakeholders. Quickly see which indications you’ve had the most success in, turnaround timing metrics for site activities, and real-time patient enrollment numbers at any time – all evidence for how well your site could perform on a new trial opportunity, giving you better leverage for winning new studies and negotiating terms.  

PROPEL offers a first-of-its-kind solution to mitigate delays, optimize resource allocation, and accelerate the pace of clinical research. A centralized platform strengthens operational excellence across clinical research site organizations to enhance collaboration and empower data-driven insights. PROPEL provides easy access and visibility into trial and site metrics across your network – helping to bridge data gaps, reduce delays, and ultimately, secure and complete more trial opportunities. 

Devana Solutions  

A RealTime Software Solutions Company, Devana Solutionsis an innovative cloud-based clinical trial software provider that supports real-time collaboration between central research operations professionals and decentralized clinicians serving patients in diverse communities. Devana Solutions even bridges the technology access and data divide by seamlessly and securely connecting decentralized researchers to other mission-critical clinical trial systems.   

Let us show you in more detail what Better Data, Better Decisions, Better Outcomes could do for your clinical trial processes.Book a demo with Devana Solutions today to learn about our cloud-based data analytics clinical trial software for the clinical trials industry that integrates seamlessly with CTMS and other key systems to keep success in the crosshairs.