Sunshine Coast’s USC Research Coordinators Developing A Consumer Confidence for Clinical Trials

Sunshine Coast’s USC Research Coordinators Developing A Consumer Confidence for Clinical Trials

USC clinical research coordinator, Sarah Piplica was awarded $10,000 as part of the Osmond Russell Memorial Scholarship by the Association of Regulatory and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) as part of a project to create a consumer index for the clinical trials industry. With a process not known to many—and feared by some—USC seeks to develop new ways and methods to evaluate and improve the experience of clinical trial participants—all as part of the emerging patient engagement movement.

Real-Time Feedback for Patient Engagement

TrialSite News applauds Ms. Piplica’s effort! After all, consumer confidence tools are used for all sorts of purposes. Patient participation and engagement represent a key element to a more robust formula to unlocking the exponential potential of clinical research. Patient involvement and engagement represent a powerful force for positive good in medical research—and society as a whole. Why not create a structured way to generate information that produces more relevant and realistic rankings and scores, leading to newfound insight and a path to greater patient engagement.

No Patient Engagement Improvement without Tools, Methods & Measurement

Piplica will first start with the basics; what to collect, and how should it be collected? What information is most useful? After that, she will work to develop a framework to leverage the information systematically. Piplica was quoted in USC’s news that “There are a number of patient engagement tools, but this index will be developed to gain real-time feedback from trial participants and do it in a way that facilitates better engagement.”

The research coordinator seeks to develop this process and associated tool that “garners information that can offer a meaningful score to continually benchmark our performance, and also offer solid insights into how confident participants are when taking part in trials.” Hence this tool could ultimately represent a generator of measurable qualitative information to measure patient confidence. But why stop there? Why not measure other things such as patient commitment, etc.? With parameters such as empowerment, openness, integrity, and others, if this tool became standardized and universal, it could drive some good.

Findings to be Presented at Conference

Ms. Piplica must produce results. Her study will lead to a presentation at the ARCS annual conference at the end of the year. TrialSite News encourage others to contact her and collaborate. There are lots of lessons learned out there—collaborate and communicate worldwide for the patient engagement movement!

USC Clinical Trials

Director of the USC Clinical Trials department, Lucas Litewka reports his optimism about this grant, study, the potential at USC, and more specifically for clinical trial participants in the Sunshine Coast who previously had to travel to Brisbane to participate in clinical research. Litewka reports his institution’s commitment to clinical research noting, “We’re committed to offering solutions that will better the outcomes for people who are sick or living with medical conditions.” He believes that this “Consumer Confidence Index” for trial participants represents an important step in not only capturing the “participant’s voice in the drug development process”, but also could differentiate his research center.

Who is USC?

USC, or the University of the Sunshine Coast, is a public university of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. The institution opened in 1996 with 524 students as the Sunshine Coast University College and was renamed in 1999. Located in what many consider a tropical paradise—the Sunshine Coast— USC’s research has been recognized nationwide. The research center has an active portfolio of clinical trials run out of two locations, including Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions. All clinical trials can be searched here.

The Research Coordinator

Ms. Sarah Piplica is a clinical research coordinator at USC.

Call to Action: Interested in sharing and helping Ms. Piplica? Contact her here.