Sponsors and CROs invest a lot of time and money in recruiting sites for clinical trial conduct. Sites whose personnel are familiar with EDC and GCP, and who have demonstrated their ability to accurately follow protocol procedures are incredibly valuable resources. They help keep study costs in line and their adherence to process streamlines the regulatory submission process – so it’s in the Sponsor/CRO’s best interest to cultivate and nurture these. How can invoicing be used as a tool to keep sites motivated? Money talks. Here are some best practices for implementing a site invoicing schedule that gets sites paid quickly.
Encourage enrollment by tying invoiceable events to completion of screening – When sites get paid for screening new subjects, they are more motivated to seek out and enroll new subjects. Slow enrollment can delay and even derail a clinical trial.
Schedule payments for each subject visit – Don’t wait until the end of the study to issue payments to sites. If each subject visit is tied to an invoice, sites are more likely to follow up with subjects and remind them of up-coming study visits. This results in fewer subjects being lost to attrition or protocol deviations.
Reward sites when subjects complete the study – Getting a subject through to the end of the study is a big deal and a crucial study milestone! Reward sites by scheduling a large payment for this significant event.
Involve study monitors and project managers – Let sites know that study personnel are their advocates. Train study personnel to focus on the payment schedule and “push” sites to complete tasks that will result in payment. Rather than saying “You forgot to sign this form”, frame it as “Hey, when you sign this form you can get paid!”.
Account for regional differences – The cost of materials and procedures varies across countries and even across different regions within a country. Make sure your invoicing system can account for these differences when setting payments.
Use an eClinical platform with integrated invoicing functionality – Sites have enough to do without filling out extra paperwork. When invoicing is integrated with data capture and cleaning, invoices can be generated electronically with the click of a mouse and be sent to accounting electronically as well. In-platform invoicing ties invoiceable events directly to eCRFs and substantially reduces study administrative costs.
Be upbeat and set expectations – As part of site enrollment, discuss the benefits of the invoicing schedule and show how it’s designed to issue site payments in as timely a manner as possible. Let site personnel know in advance what conditions must be met for payments to be authorized (e.g., eCRFs must be complete, error free, and have an electronic signature).
We hope you found these best practices practical and helpful! Read the previous article.