By Diane Paige, RN with Clinical Research Center of Alabama
Mr. Smith’s worsening COPD has left him unable to work or enjoy activities with his grandchildren. His doctor has prescribed multiple medicines, often expensive, rarely effective. Mrs. Jones has been to several doctors, and no one can find an effective treatment for her chronic hives. She’s tried this pill and that cream, enduring side effects with little or no relief. Little Johnny’s asthma keeps getting worse. His single mom struggles to afford the medicines he needs, and nothing currently available has worked. What do these tree patients have in common? They have all benefited from community practice-based clinical research.
The NIH Roadmap for Medical Research has prioritized the expansion of the community-based physicians’ role in facilitating the dissemination of evidence-based medicine. Practice-based research occurs in the office, where most patients receive the majority of their care and may be the essential link between bench discoveries, bedside efficacy, and everyday clinical effectiveness.
A clinical trial may afford patients additional treatment options-beyond standard care-that are on the cutting edge, and at no cost. While delivering improved patient care, doctors, nurses, and research coordinators have the opportunity for professional development, acquiring expertise in therapeutic areas of interest as well as continuing medical education, training, and additional credentialing. Offices that incorporate research into their practice report higher levels of personal satisfaction amongst their staff. Conducting trials is also an excellent vehicle for practice growth while providing a new revenue stream.
Ultimately, office based clinical research is universally beneficial for patients and providers alike, and the future for translating research in to practice.