Continuous Improvement to Optimize Clinical Trial Delivery

continuous improvement This is part four in a series describing how Novella Clinical’s Business Optimization department uses process data and analytics to improve performance delivery for our customers.

Process Performance


In the first three posts I discussed how we use process data and analytics at Novella to evaluate current process performance, as well as identify lessons learned for future scenarios. In this final post, I explain how we continuously improve our performance and service delivery for our customers.

Preparing for Growth

By 2020, the global clinical trials services market is expected to reach more than $60 billion, according to Research and Markets’ clinical outsourcing report, with CROs expected to deliver ~75 percent of those trials. With this growth sponsors are placing increased importance on operational excellence and efficient delivery of contracted services, as well as activities that add value to the process.

For example, the release of our investigator site portal Novella Conduit™ was a direct result of a continuous improvement effort. We recognized and addressed the need to streamline how we interact with site staff, specifically to exchange documentation and data as well as how we administer site-specific training. While several commercial products were available, we partnered with a vendor to develop a custom solution that adds value to our customer base while improving our operational efficiency. To date, more than 35 percent of the sites we work with are utilizing Novella Conduit with plans to reach more than 60 percent by the end of 2017. Sites utilizing Conduit enjoy streamlined communications and easy-to-use document exchange, while Novella staff has realized efficiencies in how documents are tracked and site trainings administered.

At Novella Clinical, we leverage various resources in order to gather data to help prioritize our continuous improvement initiatives. As mentioned in the last post, it is important to analyze internal performance to understand how well we did against a stated contract or target, as well as capture lessons learned and recommendations from our customers in order to improve our service delivery. Externally, there are several organizations or consortiums working to drive innovation and standardization, including TransCelerate, Alliance for Clinical Research Excellence & Safety (ACRES), and Metrics Champion Consortium (MCC) to name a few. We stay close to their output in order to gain insight into performance standards and industry trends.

Using internal performance data along with external insights, we are able to develop a continuous improvement strategy that allows us to innovate and achieve operational excellence for our customers, helping bring drugs and devices to the market effectively and efficiently.

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