Last week, Jim Sacchetta, Manager, Technical Operations, Premier Research, and I hosted a webinar titled "Clinical Trial Forecasting: Managing the Challenges and Avoiding the Fines." During the webinar, we took an in-depth look at:
- The consequences of poor forecasting
- The difficulties of reforecasting with manual systems
- The complexities that make forecasting so challenging
- How technology that is purpose-built for clinical trials can help CROs and Sponsors forecast more effectively and accurately
During the webinar, I received some excellent questions regarding challenges of clinical trial forecasting. I'd like to address these questions in this blog post so that everyone can benefit from the feedback.
Q: How can subject enrollment delays or poor site performance impact the forecast? And how could a forecasting tool account for this change mid-study?
A: Subject enrollment delays will impact the monthly enrollment projections and expenses. If the forecast is not adjusted based off current enrollment and future projections, then this will impact cash flow management for the sponsor and CRO which could impact deliverables. A forecasting tool can account for actual data and then re-forecast new models based off that actual data and future projected trends.
Q: How are the errors seen with excel any different than errors with a forecasting tool? Wouldn't the work still be somewhat manual with the use of a tool?
A: The only manual inputs for the tool are the initial forecasting, re-forecasting and modeling of data. There are some key inputs required to complete the forecast. Once those key inputs have been entered, they can be modified for re-forecasts if necessary. Actual data is integrated with ClinPay. One of the main value adds of ClinPlan is that it uses algorithms based off key inputs to output an accurate forecast of site activation, subject enrollment and study expenses.
Q: Will your forecasting solution integrate with your payment solution?
A: Yes. In Q4, we will be releasing an integrated solution between ClinPay and ClinPlan. For those of you who are not familiar, ClinPay is part of a suite of products designed to automate the entire financial lifecycle of global clinical trials, including contract term translation, payments, accounting, and reporting functionality. ClinPlan can significantly reduce the time to generate a forecast, improve forecast accuracy, and easily identify delays and expense increases by trial phase. Sponsors and CROs can efficiently and frequently assess trial expense needs based on activities, such as site and subject enrollment, in order to proactively plan for funds necessary to support the needed ongoing expenses of a clinical trial.
Q: Are you focusing on analytics and reporting?
A: Yes. We have a set of standard reports and are working on a BI reporting solution to be released in 2017.
If you're interested in more information on challenges of clinical trial forecasting, watch the recorded webinar and download our eBook. If you have any additional thoughts or related questions, please reach out to me at Jay.Trepanier@bioclinica.com.