Trial Slot Availability Isn’t Accurate

Increasing Clinical Trial Enrollment

The Penn Center For Health Care Innovation sought to increase patient enrollment in their clinical trials. We worked with doctors, health care administrators, clinical trial coordinators, and trial patients to uncover design interventions that would help The University of Pennsylvania’s hospital increase trial enrollment.

We developed digital solutions that we placed in the hands of health care professionals to help refine the final design.

Role: Design Strategist     Project Nature: Design Research, Ideation, Wire-Framing     Methodologies: User Interview, Expert Interview, Desk Research, User Testing     Colleagues: Julian Michelson, Leon Xi.

Trial Slot Availability Isn’t Accurate

Trial Slot Availability Isn’t Accurate

We  interviewed  doctors in the their place of work  and learned they learn  about new trials serendipitously. Doctors may overhear a conversation about a trial or see advertisements in an internal email or a on park bench. When patients ask about treatment options doctors rarely know of available trials. As a result, after the appointment doctors sift through national databases looking for potential trials, call institutions to inquire about open slots, and wait to hear back. This process normally takes several days of effort on behalf of the doctor for each patient. Often times the trial has already closed. 

 

There is no easy way to update trial availability. In fact, of all the health care professionals we spoke to at Penn, only one individual knew how trial availability was posted externally. Penn needed a simple way for Clinical Research Coordinators to update slot availability in real time.

Healthcare Professionals learn about trials through 1 of 3 ways.

Healthcare Professionals learn about trials through 1 of 3 ways.

Word of mouth. Weekly emails. Unreliable National Databases. None of these are effective in informing doctors or patients of all available treatment options.

The Trial Access At Penn App is a trusted platform that details all available regional clinical trials. TAAP empowers patients to identify clinical trials and updates doctors with all available treatment options.

 National databases cannot keep up with fluctuating trial slot availability. As a result, data becomes outdated within days. Using  ephemeral listings , TAAP is always accurate. Without continued confirmation, listings on TAAP are hidden from public view.

National databases cannot keep up with fluctuating trial slot availability. As a result, data becomes outdated within days. Using ephemeral listings, TAAP is always accurate. Without continued confirmation, listings on TAAP are hidden from public view.

Current trial databases are unreliable.

Current trial databases are unreliable.

Text-based verification allows Clinical Research Coordinators to update TAAP with just a text every 72 hours. CRCs have the most up to date information regarding trial slot availability. Shifting the responsibility of updating trial information from an external department increases listing accuracy. 

Pre-populated e-mails to send personal doctors for trial review.

Pre-populated e-mails to send personal doctors for trial review.

Because trial inclusion criteria require a doctor’s review, TAAP prepopulates emails for patients to quickly receive feedback from their primary doctor as to whether or not they are a fit for a trial. By having the platform connect patients with their personal doctors who may be a part of regional practices, TAAP can experience fast organic growth that extends outside of the Penn  community. 

CRCs Can’t Search Medical Records

CRCs Can’t Search Medical Records

Penn, like many institutions, does not search patient records for trial candidates. This means if you visit Penn before a trial starts you will likely not be considered for the trial, regardless if you are a fit or not. This is because Penn’s data is narrative data. Unlike structured data which is easily searchable, Penn’s records require patient records to be opened and reviewed manually one by one to determine whether a patient fits the clinical trial criteria. This time intensive process leaves CRC’s to rely on asking doctors if they happened to see any patients who may be a fit. Penn needed a way to rapidly search patient records for potential trial candidates that didn’t require updating their entire infrastructure. 

 Taking inspiration from paginated UX and the speed grading software teachers use, we wireframed how medical records could be sifted through at record pace. By isolating the medical information relevant to the specific trial, CRCs could quickly collect the medical files of the potential patients for the trial.  Speed Screener allows coordinators to rapidly search through past patients for trial candidates. By treating narrative data like structured data, CRCs can swipe through the relevant section of patients’ records to identify patients for trials .

Taking inspiration from paginated UX and the speed grading software teachers use, we wireframed how medical records could be sifted through at record pace. By isolating the medical information relevant to the specific trial, CRCs could quickly collect the medical files of the potential patients for the trial.

Speed Screener allows coordinators to rapidly search through past patients for trial candidates. By treating narrative data like structured data, CRCs can swipe through the relevant section of patients’ records to identify patients for trials .

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