Recruitment to Screening: Bridging the Gap

The cost of patient recruitment in clinical trials is a substantial component of the overall budget and varies widely based on numerous factors. On average, recruitment costs represent anywhere from 20 to 30% of a trials budget, with individual patient recruitment costs ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 per patient.

The Problem:

With the rise of AI, recruitment companies promise to match more patients more quickly, for less cost. However, there is a known gap in the process that occurs when patients are “referred” to research Sites. Tracking the status and ultimately the conversion of a “referred” patient to a “screened” patient takes manual input from Sites into external systems. These external systems, often owned by the recruitment companies who want to show positive ROI, add to technology fatigue at the Site level and don’t accurately track conversion rates or whether a Site has even followed up with the referring patient.

The Solution:

Kill two birds with one stone. By offering a “ride” to the Site you not only lower the barriers to participation for the patient, but you can automatically track and report the ride and assume that when the patient ride is successful, the patient therefore got to the Site for screening. The cost of the ride could range from $50 for Uber/Lyft, or up to $200 for black car service which is a small amount to spend to guarantee a patient arrives at a screening visit on time, with tracking of referral to screening automatically.

The Challenges:

Someone has to pay for the ride. Ultimately this will be the Sponsor, however contracts with recruitment companies and sites don’t always include the cost of the rides. There is also a need for system integration in order to minimize cost and maximize real-time reporting. Companies like Block Clinical can read data from recruitment systems, automatically schedule rides, and communicate to research sites.


The nominal cost of the ride, coupled with transparent ROI, yields a win-win for patients, sites, recruitment companies, and ultimately the trial Sponsor.