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How Saint-Antoine Hospital Is Boosting Patient Recruitment

A staggering number of clinical trials fail to enroll enough patients. Most of the time, it’s not because the patients don’t exist; it’s finding them that can be difficult.

This is a struggle that Professor Karine Lacombe’s team at the infectious and tropical diseases department of Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris know all too well. In addition to overseeing the department’s clinical research activities, she is also an investigator and co-investigator of several national and international cohort studies and multi-center trials in the field of HIV-viral hepatitis coinfection and Covid-19, and is a scientific manager of interventional studies in public health.

Professor Lacombe spoke to Clinical Trials Arena about the difficulties of patient recruitment and a new application the department is using to boost patient numbers. She starts by outlining her team’s previous approach to recruitment, which involved total reliance on the department’s own digital database of inpatient records.

“To find patients for a trial, we go into the database and use the inclusion criteria to ask if we have patients that respond to the eligibility criteria,” Professor Lacombe explains. “The problem with this approach is that we can only act on patients who are followed for chronic infection, whereas some of the trials we have recently started require patients who are in an ambulatory setting.”

For help finding outpatients, the hospital started contacting colleagues in the wider community who could search databases of their own. Often, however, these individuals didn’t have time to assist.

“It has been very difficult to identify the required patients,” says Professor Lacombe. “This approach has not only delayed inclusions; in some trials we have not even been able to include patients, especially for Covid-19 trials that addressed ambulatory care or prevention. That’s why we had to change.”

Download the full article to discover how Cerba Research has helped Saint-Antoine Hospital boost patient recruitment with medical laboratory data

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