Staying Connected: Successful Site Initiation During the COVID Era

FHI Clinical continues to work with researchers to identify and initiate global sites with the most appropriate capabilities and patient population for study-specific protocols.

While the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath have presented unique challenges this past year, there are many lessons learned that we can apply to all of our future studies for a larger impact and gained efficiencies.

For example, we’ve seen great success conducting virtual meetings during site selection, assessment and initiation. Over the past three months, we’ve conducted three virtual site initiation visits for a Phase III malaria study which is now well underway.

My most practical recommendation for conducting a successful virtual site visit is to always have more than one audio device on-hand. 

We can spend hours on virtual meetings, and sometimes our computer audio capabilities just aren’t that great. Have a couple different options readily available in case you need to switch out mid-meeting. You’ll also want to make sure you minimize outside distractions and conduct the meeting in a comfortable environment where you can focus on the task at hand.

These virtual meetings have become an essential decentralized clinical trial component of how we organize and implement our site initiation practices. We plan to continue using virtual meetings in the post-COVID world and look forward to seeing what other digital tools can help us to speed clinical development and get lifesaving therapeutics and treatments to the patients who need them the most.

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Using our established relationships and analytics from our extensive database of high-quality, research-ready sites, the FHI Clinical team helps select the sites that are the best fit for your protocols. Learn more today.

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Lucas Tina, MD, MPH; VIBRI and KEMRI

Dr. Lucas Tina is affiliated with the Victoria Biomedical Research Institute (VIBRI) and Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kisumu, Kenya. Dr. Tina serves as a Scientific Advisory Expert for FHI Clinical, and VIBRI and KEMRI are listed in FHI Clinical’s database of research sites.

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