Patient Concierge Services: Providing 1:1 Support to Clinical Trial Participants
Most people understand the responsibilities of a hotel concierge. This person assists guests with navigating the new city they are visiting and books reservations for area tours, restaurants, and entertainment options. They are willing to assist with any request, no matter how large or small. However, many do not understand the role of a patient concierge.
What is a Patient Concierge?
Similar to a hotel concierge, a patent concierge manages all logistics involved in a patient’s participation in a clinical trial. These services are provided to the patient by the pharmaceutical sponsor or clinical research organization (CRO) overseeing the clinical trial. These services include, but are not limited to:
- Itinerary Planning
- Air Travel (Commercial and Chartered flights)
- Rail Travel
- Ground Transportation (Sedan, WAV, Ambulance, RV/Car Rental)
- Hotel Accommodations
- Reimbursements for Meals, Incidentals, Mileage, Tolls, and Parking
- Per Diem Payments
- Wage Reimbursement
- Translation Services
- Visa and Passport Assistance
- Long-Term Housing or Relocation Services
A Human Touch to Trial Participation
One added benefit of these services is the support a caregiver receives. The patient concierge becomes a shoulder to lean on as the caregiver deals with the illness of the loved one for whom they are caring. The patient concierge and caregiver collaborate to determine the patient’s needs and preferences as they travel to and from their clinical site appointments.
Including Patient Concierge Service in Clinical Trials
When a pharmaceutical sponsor or CRO decides to include a patient concierge service in their clinical trial protocol, they put the patient’s needs first and show commitment to bettering the patient experience. Increased patient engagement and higher retention rates result from a more positive patient-centric trial experience. In essence, supported patients stay engaged.
Removing the Barriers to Clinical Trial Participation
The support provided to the patient and their caregiver by the patient concierge removes many burdens to clinical trial participation. When deciding to participate in a clinical trial, the patient and their caregiver often have several perceived and real challenges affecting trial participation. Some of the challenges identified include:
Patients and caregivers have many emotions concerning clinical trial participation. Many are hopeful the new treatment will be life-enhancing or even lifesaving, but most have varying levels of fear of the medication’s side effects. Others are excited about the opportunity to participate but fear the unknown toll the travel and treatment schedule may have on themselves and their loved ones.
While ill patients are often encouraged by the new treatment option offered in a clinical trial, many cannot afford to pay for the travel and incidentals. Depending on the disease state, the clinical site location may be across the country or even across the world. Patients worry about missing work due to the travel required to participate in a clinical trial, and the possibility of losing their job and subsequent income is worrisome. Many patients think it is impossible to participate in a clinical trial due to these challenges, often opting out of this much-needed treatment.
When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness, the disease impacts them, their loved ones, and anyone who will act in the role of caregiver. Patients considering a clinical trial often worry about the logistical challenges associated with participation. They worry about securing transportation (air, rail, and ground), finding a safe hotel with adequate amenities close to the clinical trial site, arriving at the clinical site on time, and navigating an unknown city. They are also concerned with potential issues at home while they are away at their site visits, such as childcare for additional children or aging parents and pet care. When weighing the pros and cons of clinical trial participation, the patient includes a range of logistical challenges in their reasoning.
Why Patient Concierge Services is a Smart Investment
Working with a patient concierge services company removes many of these burdens for the clinical trial patient and their caregiver. A concierge is introduced to the patient during trial enrollment and assists them with necessary translations and paperwork. In best-case scenarios, they are local to the patient, live in their time zone, speak their native language and understand their local nuances. They learn the patient’s and caregiver’s communication and travel preferences and work to complete patient reimbursements quickly to alleviate financial strain. Patient concierge support allows the clinical trial patient to focus on their treatment and the caregiver to focus on assisting the patient while easing the path to trial completion for both.
The Industry Leader in Patient Concierge Services
Clincierge was born in 2015 from a corporate meetings and events management company with deep roots in the hospitality industry. Our mission continues to be to provide highly personalized patient-centric services to the clinical trial participants and caregivers we serve. Our patient concierge services improve trial enrollment and increase patient engagement and retention rates throughout the trial. These services ensure a more positive experience for the patient and more robust data collection for the trial sponsor, leading to more thorough studies with on-time or sometimes early trial completions.