Maximizing Trial Productivity: The Power of Strategic Staffing Solutions

A clinical trial can’t succeed without sufficient personnel or a consistent workforce. It needs not only enough staff to continue operating but also enough continuity in staff to ensure seamless progression through the clinical trial life cycle. Unfortunately, turnover has been a persistent challenge in the clinical trials space, causing operators more than a little difficulty in maintaining optimal productivity and data integrity. Clinical research organizations can help offset these challenges by working with a specialized life sciences recruitment agency.

Understanding Turnover Risks in Clinical Trials

In its “2019/2020 Insights Report: CRO Industry,” BDO reported that turnover levels for clinical research associates had hit a five-year high of nearly 30% in 2018.1 The rates have improved since then, but the 2023/2024 BDO report shows that CRA turnover risk remains higher than pre-pandemic levels at 22%.2 Several factors have contributed to the risk, namely:

  • Burnout: Clinical research professionals tend to work long hours to satisfy demanding workloads. Clinical trials are often high-pressure environments, given the importance inherent to drug and medical device development.
  • Lack of career advancement: Compared to other industries, clinical research offers few opportunities for career advancement to its associates,3 whereas such opportunities are among the leading drivers of employee engagement and, therefore, retention.4  
  • A competitive job market: Clinical research professionals who don’t find fulfillment in their current roles stand a good chance of finding work with another research organization. 

Research organizations have good reason to strive for control over the preventable factors contributing to high industry turnover. Every staff member who leaves represents a delay in the trial timeline as operators scramble to find a suitable replacement, which inflates the trial’s cost in the long run. Also at risk are the trial’s data and overall success, as an individual may take a substantial amount of institutional knowledge with them when they leave.

The Importance of Continuity in Clinical Trials

An associate who has been with the trial from the start holds vital information about key elements such as its procedures, data collection methods, and patient care protocols. 

Should such an associate leave, a crucial thread holding together a meaningful segment of the trial suddenly breaks. It isn’t impossible to find a sufficiently qualified and experienced replacement, but such talent may be rare or unavailable. Even the most capable replacement will need time to acclimate to the trial, which is in addition to the time it took to find them in the first place.

In the post-pandemic era, which has seen an increase in decentralized studies, we must also contend with the continuity challenges of managing multiple trial sites. Every additional site adds a layer of complexity, especially in data maintenance and recordkeeping. Losing institutional knowledge in this multifaceted research ecosystem could cause even greater detriment by destabilizing carefully constructed coordinative systems, disrupting data integrity, and facilitating data loss across communication channels.

The Role of Strategic Staffing Solutions

Working with a strategic life sciences staffing partner is a clear solution for retaining key players and mitigating the impacts of discontinuity. With over 20 years of industry experience, Medix Life Sciences has the accumulated and ongoing expertise necessary to identify top clinical research professionals in the field and match them to the specific needs of a clinical trial. 

A specialized life sciences staffing solution, such as Medix, also empowers research sites to efficiently manage and advance trials. With expertly tailored solutions aimed at optimizing site performance and enhancing operational efficiency through targeted training, protocol support, and performance monitoring, Medix empowers sites to overcome challenges and maintain momentum throughout the trial lifecycle.

The Benefits of Partnering With Medix

Aside from protection against the turnover and discontinuity risks common in the clinical trial life cycle, partnering with Medix Staffing Solutions offers the following benefits:

  • Consultation and planning: We’re with you from the start, evaluating your study’s feasibility and helping you devise a plan that integrates risk management. The consultation and planning extend to site solutions for expediting setup, ensuring compliance, enhancing visibility, and efficiently achieving research objectives.
  • Dedicated and knowledgeable life sciences recruiters: Medix is a life sciences recruitment agency with over two decades’ worth of expertise. We’ve helped innumerable organizations through common industry challenges with on-demand staffing that considers engagement and retention potential. With our MyPrint soft skills assessment tool, in particular, we can identify candidates who possess soft skills that align with your organizational culture, thereby decreasing the turnover risk.
  • Fast, flexible staffing: The Medix talent pool numbers more than 3 million candidates with varying qualifications and levels of experience. Whatever your needs, we can quickly and efficiently identify candidates who can meet them. That includes remote and travel-ready staff to accommodate your decentralized trial model. 
  • Cost savings: Clinical trial delays can cost up to $8 million a day,5 so any time spared in your talent search can result in tremendous cost savings.

Partner With a Life Sciences Recruitment Agency To Foster Trial Success

By partnering with Medix, sponsors and CROs can leverage their expertise to navigate turnover risks effectively, ensuring seamless trial progression and maximizing productivity at every stage. With a focus on identifying top talent and supporting site enablement, Medix enables clients to mitigate risks, achieve operational excellence, and advance the development of life-changing therapies. Get in touch today to learn more.

  1. “2019/2020 Insights Report: CRO Industry.” (2020). BDO USA.
  2. “2023/2024 Clinical Research Organization Insights Report: CRA Turnover Is Down-Ticking: Is It Time To Evaluate Workforce Effectiveness?” (2023). BDO USA.
  3. Bastek, Andrea. “Career Advancement in Clinical Trials: How Developing New Skills Can Prevent Turnover.” (2022). MedCity News.
  4. “2023 Work in America Survey.” (2023). American Psychological Association.
  5. Lawrence, Colleen E., Virginia M. Bruce, Libby D. Salberg, Terri Edwards, Casi Morales, Marisha Palm, and Gordon R. Bernard. “Quantitative Assessment of the Impact of Standard Agreement Templates on Multisite Clinical Trial Startup Time.” (2023). Journal of Clinical and Translational Science.
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