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Tag: clinical trials

24 May 2018
Marketing Text Messaging: Are You Compliant?

Marketing Text Messaging: Are You Compliant?

It’s no secret, we are addicted to our phones. We are constantly engaging with new apps, text messages, and social media outlets. According to the New York Post, Americans check their phones every 12 minutes!

Consequently, being on our phones has increased the amount of advertisement we are exposed to. So, how do you get in touch with your patients to remind them of their appointments or notify them of new enrolling studies? Well, the answer is text!

The average person will read a text message within three minutes of receiving it. Texting will allow your site to deliver personalized communication to your patients in a matter of seconds! What better way to build a strong and lasting rapport? Additionally, TEXT reminders are proven to reduce no-show percentages and improve patient retention rates.

Incorporating text into your marketing and communication strategy seems like a no-brainer, right? Although we do recommend your site to adopt a TEXT outreach strategy as soon as possible, we also would like to emphasize that there are certain regulations and procedures you have to follow before sending that first TEXT.

All marketing efforts are regulated, and TEXT messaging is no different. The Federal Communications Commission or (FCC) has established several guidelines that all organization utilizing TEXT messaging as a marketing avenue need to follow.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Short Codes vs Long Codes: Short codes are 5 or 6-digit numbers assigned and administered by the US Common Short Code Administration (CSCA). The short code can be used across multiple wireless operators within the borders of the country. Once a short code is established, your site will be able to send mass marketing texts, direct texts and picture messages to opted-in patients; additionally, the code will be able to receive replies from patients.
    Long codes, on the other hand, are “virtual phone numbers” composed of 10 digits and have similar capabilities to a landline or mobile phone numbers such as voice, SMS, and fax. Long codes should only be used for appointment reminders and information related to the study the patient is currently enrolled in such as diary entry reminders.

    What does this mean for your site?

    You are only allowed to send mass TEXT messaging and marketing to your patients if they’ve opted-in to your marketing efforts through written consent or if they responded to other marketing efforts (i.e., automated Keyword opt-in) by texting the short code directly. Your marketing efforts can only be sent through the short code the patient agreed to receive text messaging from and all texts should offer the recipient a way to opt out.
    Ex: Thank you for your interest in our study. Please reply with the best time to call or call us 222-222-2222. Text STOP to opt out.

    On the other hand, you can send any appointment reminders through a long code and you will need verbal or written consent from the patient. One consent will not cover both long code and short codes. If you are including a consent in your forms, be sure to specify the type of texts that patients will be receiving.

  1. Keywords: Consider establishing a unique marketing keyword to promote on various marketing channels. For instance, your site could post flyers around the waiting area with instructions to text your keyword to receive study alerts from your site. Keywords can help build your database and open up new channels for engagement and recruitment.
    Ex: Text “STUDY” to 74-121 and receive TEXT notifications of our upcoming research studies.
  2. HIPAA compliance: All your marketing efforts should be HIPAA compliant. For more information, visit the FAQ section on HHS.gov that covers HIPAA guidelines related to marketing outreach.
  3. Marketing Strategy: Text marketing should complement your overall marketing strategy and should be one of many ways you engage with your patients. Send your patients text messages when it is relevant to their interests and be sure to include a call-to-action on all marketing efforts. There is a fine line between building a rapport with your patient and intruding. You want to respect their privacy and show them that you care about the safety of their information.
  4. Cost: Different carriers have varying costs when it comes to mass texting. Research the costs involved with leasing a short code and sending mass texting. If some costs will be charged to the patient, include the relevant information in your consent form. Consequently, if you are hiring a third-party platform, make sure you are aware of all hidden costs and their capabilities. Will they charge you for each individual text message? Do they have a shared short code? Are the platforms HIPAA and FCC complaint?

Text messaging can be a great asset to your site! It may help you build a long-lasting relationship with your patients and keep them informed of your upcoming studies. However, being compliant and following the established guidelines is a must! Luckily, RealTime has done all the research for you! If you are thinking about adopting text messaging, call us at (210) 852-4310 or text PAPERLESS to 74-121 to learn more about how to be compliant and how we might be able to help with your marketing efforts!

04 Apr 2018

S.O.M.S. for Leading Research Sites

You have probably heard the term S.O.M.S., but what does it mean?  Quite simply, SOMS stands for Site Operations Management System.  It rhymes with Tom’s… it’s SOMS!

OK, now you can say it, but what is it?  In the vast arena of software available for clinical research sites, there is a lot to navigate and a lot to consider.  The short list would include, CTMS systems, eRegulatory systems, Stipend payment systems, eSOURCE systems for data capture, TEXT systems for appointment reminders and other patient communications, direct mail systems, website study listing and application capture, CRM software for lead management, and more.

There is a lot to keep track of within all these systems.  Sites will need to establish contracts for each of these services/products, establish payment systems for each product, have trained personnel who can run each system, ensure login credentials are maintained and working, transfer data between these systems to perform their designed functions, etc.

With a SOMS system, all the above can be accomplished in one seamless information system. A SOMS system bundles each service into a single user-friendly platform that fully integrates with platforms like WordPress or other website CMS, MailChimp, Facebook and more.  The level of efficiency and cost savings that can be accomplished with this fully integrated system is unparalleled.

There is one other important thing to note.  There is only one vendor on the market that has a SOMS system and that is RealTime Software Solutions.  Individually, RealTime has best-in-class CTMS, eRegulatory, eSOURCE, TEXT, PAY, website integration, MailChimp and Facebook integration and other handy tools. RealTime also provides a user-friendly mobile app for doctor referrals, eSignatures on the go, quick access to study documents, eSOURCE data collection, as well as an Outlook plugin that allows for drag-and-drop documents into eReg binders or other eDOCS storage locations AND MORE.

While other vendors claim to have “integrations” or even similar bundling of software, be sure to compare the capabilities of each of their systems and how they stack up to RealTime’s solutions for each.  RealTime not only offers the best standalone solutions, but the only complete bundling of solutions into a single platform for ultimate efficiency, cost savings and production.  RealTime SOMS.  There is only one and it can be found in leading sites around the world!

Take a look at RealTime.  Choose the right system the first time.  But it’s never too late to make the switch.  Anytime you switch to RealTime, you are right on time. Schedule a demo today to learn how RealTime can help you streamline your processes and drive results. Call (210) 852-4310 or visit
realtime-ctms.com today!

25 Aug 2017

A mobile app that makes everything simple

As a clinical researcher, being at your desk to take care of study documentation, patient referrals and everything else that goes into managing your studies can be difficult and time-consuming.  That’s why our team has created a mobile app that lets you access all your files, contacts, patient referrals, and inclusion/exclusion criteria on the go.  RealTime-eDOCS has become an industry-leading eRegulatory system that streamlines the way sites, sponsors and CROs manage regulatory documents.

If you are a current RealTime user, you know how intuitive and user-friendly our solutions are. Our eDOCS mobile app is no exception! The eDOCS app is tailored to meet the needs of clinical research sites, staff and doctors.

Before the eDOCS mobile app, you would have to wait to get to your office in the morning to refer patients, sign documents, request signatures, manage contacts, and navigate your regulatory files.

Now with the eDOCS mobile app, all the information you need is at your fingertips!  Anytime, anywhere, you can review all regulatory documents for your studies, sign important documents with your fingerprint, refer patients into studies, access important staff and study contacts and more right from you tablet or phone.  No other eRegulatory system has this capability!  Whether you are moving to eRegulatory, or already using an eRegulatory system, make the move to eDOCS to maximize efficiency and cost savings.

What can the eDOCS mobile app do for you?

  • Manage signature requests on the go by receiving and sending notifications. The app allows you to quickly view or search your signature requests.
  • Instantly sign documents with fingerprint technology.
  • Refer patients to your CTMS, which will increase the number of referrals from your doctors and boost your recruitment efforts.
  • Navigate eRegulatory files.
  • Quickly access your study and staff contacts.

Call RealTime today for a demo of our eDOCS system and the mobile app.  See the future of eRegulatory being led by RealTime!  Click here to schedule a demo or call us at (210) 852 – 4310.

By the way, if you are an eDOCS or eDOCS LITE user, find the app on Google Play or the App Store.

14 Aug 2017

RealTime is Changing the CTMS Industry with First-of-its-Kind New App

Research sites can now access popular eDOCS solution on mobile device with new app

SAN ANTONIO—Want to access site eRegulatory files, sign documents with your thumb print, refer a patient to a study or look up site and sponsor contacts all on your mobile device? There’s an app for that!

RealTime-CTMS launched the first-of-its-kind new app this week that allows site staff to use its popular eDOCS solution from an iOS or Android device.

“No other CTMS or eRegulatory system has mobile capabilities like we do,” says RealTime-CTMS CEO, Rick Greenfield. “The ease at which sites can access pertinent information including inclusion and exclusion information, sign documents using finger print technology and even refer patients directly into the CTMS system can’t be matched.”

eDOCS is a cutting-edge system that can be fully integrated with RealTime-CTMS or used as a stand-alone system. The solution enables sites to go fully digital, eliminating messy regulatory binders and paper work. eDOCS has already made a splash in the clinical research world and with the release of the app, industry leaders are expecting the solution to continue to grow in popularity.

“Everything is going mobile, even the clinical trial industry,” says Greenfield. “With the tap of a button on your mobile device, sites now have instant access to information that would otherwise have to be found in bulky binders and loads of paperwork.”

Some features of the new app include the ability for investigators to sign documents using iOS and Android finger print technologies, easy access to site and sponsor contacts on the go and push notifications that alert investigative staff that requests for signatures are pending. The app also allows site staff to refer a patient into a study and instantly access protocol and study information.

“We are very excited about the launch of our app and believe it will greatly increase efficiency and success across our sites,” says Greenfield.

For more information on eDOCS mobile, download the app at the App Store or on Google Play.

About RealTime-CTMS

RealTime Software Solutions, LLC is located in San Antonio, TX and is a leader in database-driven, cloud-based clinical research software solutions. Our focus is on research sites and our goal is to solve problems and provide systems that make the sites more efficient and more profitable. We are constantly listening to our customers to provide new innovations that improve performance and help sites achieve their goals.