Clinical Research Sites Struggle With Increasing Trial Complexity

According to CRST Survey

PHILADELPHIA--()--A new North American survey of 500+ clinical research site professionals documents the impact of more kinds of, and more complex, clinical trials. The survey focused on 3-year trial trends and found key challenges in subject recruitment/retention and tracking and reporting data. Increased complexity also impacted trial financials– especially negotiating contracts and managing profitability.

The December, 2010 survey was conducted among investigators, study coordinators and other clinical site professionals from large organizations, such as Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins, hospitals like Rush Presbyterian and the Hospital for Sick Children, as well as multi-specialty and private practices. Clinical Research Site Training (CRST), a leading training provider and Web “community” for clinical research sites conducted the survey. “Given our unique focus on site professionals, conducting regular surveys puts our hands on their pulse,” said Lester Levine, CRST President.

Survey highlights include:

  • 66% of large organizations report an increase in trials conducted
  • 60% report increasing difficulty in managing trial profitability
  • 40% report increasing difficulty in recruiting and retaining subjects
  • Training remains a major issue, even though over 50% report an increase in training
  • 80%+ of nurses want more QA training
  • 60%+ of all respondents want more FDA Audits training

The survey also explored sites’ Web use for work information. In spite of increased specialized Web content about the clinical research site “world”, awareness and usage were both relatively low.

  • Google (or other search sites) was the primary information tool
  • Only the NIH and Clinical Trial Network sites have over 50% awareness among all site professionals
  • Usage of major specialized sites averaged less than 40% for nurses and less than 20% for doctors

Mr. Levine noted: “Our findings suggest clinical research sites should:

  • Increase training on financial management, site QA, subject recruitment/retention and FDA inspections;
  • Manage the convergence of increased and more complex trials by improving both new staff recruitment and experienced staff retention;
  • Reach out on the Web for new/improved ways of working from both formal information sites and clinical research site communities.”

Full results of the survey are available on the CRST website

About Clinical Research Site Training (CRST)

Clinical Research Site Training (CRST) provides high quality, hands-on workshops for clinical research site professionals. For over 19 years, CRST has trained thousands of coordinators, investigators and other professionals from diverse sites—private practices, multi-specialty clinics, hospitals and research organizations —for example, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of California- San Francisco and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. CRST offers both public and onsite workshops throughout the United States and Canada. Our website, is building a unique community for site professionals with a blog, polls, article links and discussion forums.


Lester Levine, 484-798-7503
Fax: 215-477-2522

Release Summary

A survey of 500+ clinical researchers-investigators and study coordinators-reveals growing complexity in running clinical trials. Issues are: recruiting, training,finances,study data,limited Web use.


Lester Levine, 484-798-7503
Fax: 215-477-2522