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Patient recruitment: the best automated assistants for 2020


Whether you get a spark of joy from the voice recognition on your phone or it’s your ambition to become the real-life Iron Man, we’ve all dreamt of a fully-automated lifestyle. Luckily for research coordinators, it looks like the robot butlers of the future have been invented today. A recent report by PatientCentra found that, by incorporating digital tools in their marketing plan, the company was able to reduce marketing costs for clients by 64%. While this news won’t secure you a movie deal with Marvel, it will make life easier for any patient recruitment manager as digital tools and automated assistants can do months of work in the push of a button.

Here, at Citruslabs we’ve created a list of our recommended programs that will transform that unnecessarily hard work into quick and easy computer commands. Check out our selection and top tips below.


Website builders

It’s true what they say: first impressions do matter. For most people, in our digital age, the first encounter they’ll have with your study is through the company website. And if it doesn't impress, there's little chance they'll say yes to anything you have to offer. A recent survey for Business.com found that a whopping 75% of people judge a company's credibility based on their website design. Website designers are expensive and this creates a dilemma for researchers with limited capital. So, how are you supposed to create an entire, polished website with little expense and no experience?


Well, it turns out you don’t need an arts degree to be creative these days. Website builders such as Wix and Wordpress offer professional templates on an easy-to-use interface. Simply drag and drop items on the page: no need to worry about code. If that wasn't easy enough, both companies allow access to the majority of their designs and widgets for free - with premium prices at discounted rates from time to time.

Our top tips:


  • Signpost your contact information. It's best to have multiple methods of contact for those among your targeted audience who are cautious of technology. Be sure to list your office’s name, address, and phone number on both your homepage and an easy-to-read contact page.

  • First come, last served. Don't go for the first design you see - think about all the other time-stretched designers that will copy and paste the same one. Look for an alternative design that could be slightly altered to fit your image. This way you avoid cliché templates while giving the design a unique twist.

  • Be mobile-friendly. While you might have an awesome design on your laptop screen, it’s crucial to remember that a lot of your audience will be clicking your link on a mobile - not a desktop. The formatting is almost always completely different so watch out for funny layouts that can occur.


Social media

When it comes to marketing, there is no need anymore to hire Don Drapers to pitch to big bosses on Madison Square Avenue. Not now that we have social media.


Raising public awareness of clinical research has never been easier. Why spend around 10% of your gross revenue a year on posters for your local shop, when you could spend next to nothing making digital posters for the online marketplace? Monetary savings are not the only gain: an ODM Group study found that 74% of consumers rely on social networks to help with their purchasing decisions. Social media is ripe with affordable influence, waiting for research coordinators to reap the benefits.


Just like a strongly branded website, an enthusiastic social media presence acts as a landing point for potential patients to get to know what you’re all about. Profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are essential to building the trust of your audience. The most engaging accounts are those that are most personable: make sure to reference the everyday when posting, and don’t forget to spread positivity whenever you can (nobody likes bad news).


Our top tips:

  • Lost in translation. Consider your words carefully as something that makes perfect sense in your head may not translate on (digital) paper. Also, remember to check for typos in posts by running them through a spell-check. Nothing is worse than seeing someone make an un-ironic spelling error.

  • Keep creating content. While you should aim to produce quality over quantity, it’s easy for a profile to get lost among the millions of others on people’s feed. Keeping active online promotes a proactive stance on business by letting potential candidates know that you are busy at work.


Patient recruitment dashboard

If we know anything, it’s that a patient recruitment dashboard is the answer to efficient patient recruitment and healthy patient retention. This is our area of expertise after all!


Conventional advertising is a minefield when it comes to establishing a connection between you and your patients. Did you know that 86% of clinical trials don’t meet their patient targets on time? The problem is that most public engagement with clinical trials, particularly through tv and radio ads, is untargeted and random. That isn’t all. For researchers across the country, the odds are against them by using hospital or physician databases too: it’s unlikely you’ll find candidates when 48% of sites under-enroll, with 15-20% of sites failing to enroll a single patient.


Using a patient recruitment dashboard software tool makes screening, scheduling, and communicating with patients a breeze. Whether you’re a site coordinator, administrative professional, or sponsor, you’ll be able to log in and check on the status of your study’s enrollment, send communication to potential participants, and measure your progress toward meeting enrollment goals. With a blinded access patient recruitment dashboard (like Citruslabs’ dashboard), clinical trial sponsors and CROs can even view their studies’ progress without risking study validity. An easy-to-use patient recruitment dashboard tool is the ultimate automated tool for patient recruitment and retention.



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