Engaging trusted community resources to boost clinical trial awareness
The ability to provide education about clinical trials in the local community is important and trusted messengers are essential. Community-based organizations like retail clinics, pharmacies, and community health centers are often staffed by clinicians like nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and some are co-located with pharmacies. Each of these entities are trusted sources for health care information and serve as partners for improving the patient experience more broadly. Our survey found:
- Consumers trust their clinicians (70%) and pharmacists (47%) to provide treatment information, and trust their clinicians (67%) and pharmacists (47%) to provide public health information.
- Consumers also are going to their clinicians for health care information at higher rates. In the past year, 50% of all respondents went to their doctor for public health information, an increase from 42% in 2021.
- Pharmacies, community health centers, and grocery stores were ranked as the most trusted organizations consumers want to see their hospital partner with to improve patient experience more broadly.
Community-based organizations are also places where consumers already go or would go on a regular basis for health care. For example, consumers often visit a pharmacy to pick up prescription medications. Our recent article, Advancing health through alternative sites of care, highlights how consumers are increasingly willing to seek health care from community-based sites:
- On average, 55% of all consumers are “likely to” or “maybe would” use a retail clinic for preventative care. This increases to 66% among Asian consumers, 59% among Black consumers, and 63% among Hispanic consumers.
- On average, 60% of all consumers are “likely to” or “maybe would” use a community clinic or health center for preventative care. This increases to 70% among Black consumers, 66% among Asian consumers, and 69% among Hispanic consumers.
Community-based sites can also provide an opportunity to connect consumers with care teams that are diverse and with clinicians that have shared life experiences,9 which can improve and rebuild trust. According to our report, Rebuilding trust in health care, half of all consumers are willing to trade access to convenient care for access to a provider who looks similar to them or has shared life experiences. Deloitte’s report, Advancing health equity through community-based ecosystems, provides insight into building and sustaining these community partnerships to advance health equity.
Reducing the burden of clinical trial participation
In addition to awareness and trust, access to clinical trials remains a top challenge.10 Participation in clinical trials often requires patients to make regular visits to traditional clinical trial sites, which tend to be in hospitals or other large medical institutions. For many patients, these facilities aren’t conveniently located. In fact, about 70% of potential participants live more than two hours from the nearest study center.11 Participating in a trial often requires consumers to have reliable transportation, take time off from work, and find childcare.12 According to our survey findings, 35% of all consumers would be “extremely” or “very willing” to participate in a clinical trial at a traditional research center. However, offering decentralized trials and conveniently located community-based clinical trials at trusted locations, significantly increases consumers’ willingness to participate.
Allowing patients to participate from home
Decentralized clinical trials (DCT), which leverage video visits, inhome testing, and remote monitoring and diagnostics, can help address barriers to participation by limiting the need for onsite visits. DCTs reduced the clinical trial timeline and yielded a return on investment five times the original investment in phase II deployments; and 14 times the investment for phase III deployment, according to a Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development study.13
According to our survey, consumers are 17% more willing to participate in a clinical trial if it were offered at home compared to a research center, with 52% of all consumers saying they would be “extremely willing” or “very willing” to participate. Additionally, consumers are 15% more willing to participate in a clinical trial if it were offered virtually compared to a research center, with 50% of all consumers saying they would be “extremely willing” or “very willing” to participate (figure 2). This is particularly evident among Asian consumers, with Asian consumers 20% more likely to say they would be “extremely willing” or “very willing” to participate in a clinical trial if offered virtually.