So, you have decided to invest in a clinical trial management software or a CTMS to scale your operations or to transition from a legacy system to a more sophisticated approach, or simply because your previous CTMS is not suitable anymore for your present needs. Whatever may be the reason, having an efficient CTMS enables you to secure your data in a centralized platform. However, know that each CTMS has different functionalities and features, so knowing your purpose and budget would help you choose the most efficient CTMS. Here are some pointers to look for while investing in a reliable CTMS.
Choosing a Reliable CTMS
Investing in a CTMS is an important decision. You would want to choose a CTMS that can be configured along with your existing system or enable you to have a smooth transition. Remember, a clinical trial is an evolving process, and your CTMS should be adept at accommodating your future evolving needs and not let you replace the CTMS a few years down the line.
A reliable CTMS should be compliant. For example, a good CTMS should always maintain an audit trail to know exactly when someone makes changes in the data. A CTMS should still maintain an archive of old data instead, even if the data is deleted. This will help keep track of all the old records that can be retrieved easily when needed. Since CTMS is the repository of all the data for a clinical trial, it is important to have access and account controls. For example, it should have idle session expiration, locking inactive accounts, user authorization, authentication with passwords, etc. to ensure there is no unauthorized activity in the CTMS.
Ensure you have the infrastructure capabilities to support the data before investing in it. Know where the CTMS would be hosted – is it be in the site location or at the vendor’s place? Knowing these details will allow you to choose the right CTMS for your clinical trial programs.
Ease of communication and messaging:
Clinical research is a team effort where often different stakeholders are located far apart. Hence, communication needs to be systematic. For example, an event or an outcome can trigger you to seek specific information or send out information to another stakeholder. A CTMS allows you to communicate within the team in a systematic way unlike phone calls or emails which are non-systematic. So, choose a CTMS that has a practical and easy system-based communication and messaging system.
Finding the right CTMS vendor:
So, you know your prerequisites and how you want your CTMS to be. But how do you find the right vendor? Of course, a basic Google search can throw you a list of vendors dealing with CTMS. But don’t limit your search there. Check out with your peers and network. Attending conferences is also a good idea to meet vendors face to face. Once you created a list of vendors, it’s time to do the real research and narrow down the options. Look at the vendor’s website, customer reviews, case studies, blogs, educational resources, ease of navigation, etc. This will give you an understanding of the vendor’s industry knowledge. Ask specific questions like implementation timelines, pricing, and your expectations before you opt for a demo. Creating your scorecard with your priorities will also help you to shortlist the right CTMS provider.
CTMS investment is an important decision to scale up your clinical trial programs. Remember, it takes time to do thorough research before implementing a CTMS in your clinical trial. So, allow yourself enough time to find the right CTMS platform.