Workforce Training Key to Future Clinical Trial Success

Reginald Hooks, MS, MPH, PMP, Associate Director, Clinical Operations, Oncolytics Biotech

Tools and technology are vital to raising the clinical trial performance bar, experts who gathered for the latest segments of the Virtual ACRP 2020 conference agreed last week, but the foundation for any successful effort comes down to well-trained and motivated personnel.

“Being a clinical trial professional isn’t easy, but it’s very rewarding and very important,” Reginald Hooks, associate director of clinical operations for Oncolytics Biotech, told attendees during his November 5 session. He also advised clinical research associates to become skilled in the art of running a meeting. “Being able to do [that] will help you throughout your career,” he said.

Stressing the value of education, Erin Lynch, clinical research educator in the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance for the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, shared tips she and other colleagues had learned when developing training programs. For starters, Lynch preached patience and taking the long view, saying, “Stay positive, the data can be overwhelming.”

Among Lynch’s other takeaways:

  • Collect data on educational needs to justify staffing and program initiatives
  • Obtain buy-in from institutional leadership
  • Invest time in building a needs assessment survey to gauge and address current unmet needs
  • Amend the survey as needed to solicit more accurate responses

Listen to the research community,” Lynch said. “[Its members] will be more actively involved if they feel valued and heard.”

Michelle Corbett, assistant director of clinical research education in the same office as Lynch at the Amy and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, added other key takeaways from the experience:

  • Be flexible in the development of your training/education and accept constructive feedback
  • Utilize a variety of teaching methods to engage different types of learners

“Take advantage of technologies available at your institution and advocate for tools and technologies that will help you better meet your research community’s needs,” Corbett said.

Author: Michael Causey