The practices sharing their strategies include the Cancer Research and Support Services of Summa Health System, Oncology Clinical Trials/Duluth Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), Oncology Clinical Trials Program, Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, Oncology Hematology Care Inc, and the Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio/Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital.
For the last 2 to 3 years, Kaiser Permanente has used its electronic database to identify patients eligible for clinical trials. Fehrenbacher says that their large patient population of 3.3 million members in Northern California and the informatics they have available to search their patient database contribute to their success. The patient population of the Duluth CCOP reaches out to about 450,000, and draws from northeast Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and part of the upper peninsula of Michigan. Research assistants screen all new patients going into the practice.
Neading says that it is extremely rare for a patient to be lost to follow-up. At the end of a trial, patients can sign a form consenting to follow-up or refusing it. Neading observes that it takes a lot of time and patience to explain trials to potential participants. The time their patients spend with the nurses results in a relationship that she believes helps to keep their patients on study.