Up to 5 million Americans have left their jobs during the ‘Great Resignation’ and that number’s still growing. While numerous industries are experiencing record turnover, it’s especially acute in healthcare. According to one report, 20% of medical professionals have left the field, including clinical trial assistants, clinical research associates, and study monitors.
Unfortunately, high turnover and understaffed departments increase the risk of clinical trial failure. Without enough people to maintain good manufacturing protocols or meet stakeholder deadlines, problems are sure to arise. You can’t control the labor pool, but there are steps you can take to maintain quality research even if you’re short-handed.
1) Make sure your team knows how much you appreciate them. The last few years have been difficult. Daily, we’re reminded of an ongoing pandemic and rising inflation, not to mention climate change, political turmoil, and crime. The world is stressful and so are our personal lives, but that stress doesn’t have to spill into the office.
A little bit of gratitude goes a long way. Create a culture that values honest communication and empathy. If possible, offer flexible working arrangements. Other ways to express your gratitude include treating everyone to a meal, awarding extra time off, or establishing an “Employee of the Month” program. When people feel appreciated, they’re happier and more productive.
2) Embrace automation. Manual data entry is labor-intensive and tedious. If you’re understaffed, it also wastes valuable resources. Thankfully, there are various software programs that can automate different aspects of the clinical trial process, including case report form (CRF) development, clinical metadata management, and dataset conversion processes. Relying on technology may feel scary at first, but try to embrace it. Improved data quality awaits!
3) Draft a data management plan (DMP). A DMP is the gold standard for data-gathering. It establishes thorough guidelines for the collection, management, and review of data during each phase of a clinical trial. The DMP also defines the roles and responsibilities of everyone on your team and creates a process for archiving and sharing your research. If you’re audited or investigated, it even provides a paper trail for the regulatory authorities.
4) Enroll in our F.A.S.T. program. Are you so understaffed it’s keeping you up at night? Sometimes, the only thing that will make a difference is extra help. At Harbor Clinical, we offer a one-of-a-kind solution: The Functionally Aligned Strategic Team –– or F.A.S.T –– for short.
FAST helps maximize efficiency, quality, and value by providing you with a team of part-time or full-time subject matter experts. These experts specialize in various functions, such as quality assurance, data management, and clinical operations. After meeting to understand the scope of your project, we tailor a plan of action that aligns with your budget and goals.
There’s no way to predict when The Great Resignation will end, but there are steps you can take to reduce headaches in the meantime. If we can assist you in any way, schedule a strategy session with one of our experts at this calendar link: https://meetings.hubspot.com/harborclinical/meeting
What have you done to increase data accuracy amidst staffing shortages and professionals leaving the industry? Would you add anything to our list? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Please fill out the form below and click the submit comment button.