This is a commentary on “Why Poor Diversity in Medical Research Threatens Health Equity” first published on the Patient Engagement HIT website here.
The article clearly recognizes the value of working with the community, however, there is more to say on this. Until I developed a project, sponsored by a biopharma company, I did not realize the impact of working with the community. What I see now, as the industry makes attempts at increasing diversity in clinical trials is that it, too, doubts the real value of working with the community.
I want to be clear about what it means to work with the community. First of all, every community is different – there is no formula except figure what it is going to take to build long term sustainable relationships. This usually means identifying community leadership and community-based organizations with whom to work. These community-based organizations include non-profits, faith based organizations, community health organizations, etc. This is an effort that requires you to talk to people, understand their perspective, understand their needs. You are right – this takes time. This is your investment to get the return you want – diverse participation in clinical trials.
Through experience I can tell you that this investment of time is worth it. As the focus on clinical trials is to get them placed and recruited quickly – that balance of time and money – this time investment will take a bite out of your timeline at first. However, once your team has incorporated this effort into their schedules, this time expense will be a mere speed bump. Over time the relationships you build will enable quick placement and recruitment in the future. You will never get there if you never make this time commitment, period.
So, read on, the article below provides additional links to some great resources. If you want to know more, my team and I can help you. We have been there, doing this work and getting results.
Just my thoughts,