By Ray Tobey, Chief Medical Officer on Mar 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM
In the absence of a good clinical research coordinator (CRC), your trial has an increase chance of failing. The crucial role of the CRC in facilitating the daily clinical trial activities goes far beyond data collection and administrative support. The role of the CRC is complex and directly contributes to the gathering of good quality data that will lead to maintaining the integrity and success of your trial. They must multi-task numerous duties and have the capabilities of effectively working with the principal investigator, department, sponsor, and institution to support and provide guidance on the administration of the compliance, financial, personnel and other related aspects of the clinical study.
When looking to hire or train inexperienced staff members as a CRC, listed below are some of the top attributes we have found that encompass an excellent clinical trial coordinator. Of course, there are obvious signs of a good CRC, like excellent organizational skills, past experience, and good references, but we think the following characteristics are often-overlooked and should be considered before your next hire.
- Engaged in the study
CRCs role is extremely tactical but those who are really engaged in the study and take the time to understand the big picture, add a lot of value. Having both perspectives allow the CRC to complete day to day activities but also allow an opportunity to pin point any major problems that may influence the integrity of the trial.
- Caring about the patients involved
Between scheduling appointments, maintaining finances and overseeing multiple different departments and personalities, it’s easy to miss the big picture: patient safety. A CRC’s role is certainly to keep projects on track but ultimately, they must always consider how processes and protocols affect the patient.
- Willingness to adapt and learn
Amendments to protocols occur through clinical trials studies quite often or a sponsor may require additional paperwork to be completed. There are many ways and reasons processes change mid-trial and an excellent CRC will adapt easily and more importantly, use that as an opportunity to learn.