Improving What We Measure

There is a wise adage that: “what gets measured can be improved”. The process of translating science to improve health is full of inefficiencies including areas where slight improvements could have a large effect in helping expedite the discovery, development, demonstration and dissemination of scientific advances.

Accrual in clinical trials is an area that has been recognized by NIH and other biomedical research entities as one of the top issues in translating science, from bench to bedside to communities.  Low accruing trials can drag on for longer periods, with added costs and delays in the benefit that participants, the public, and society could reap from these scientific/medical “experiments.” In the worst scenario, uncompleted trials – due to low enrollment – result in a waste of scientific, human and participant resources/time, with ethical, scientific and financial consequences.

To measure participant accrual and its efficiency throughout the CTSA Consortium we are using the Median Accrual Ratio (MAR) metric. The MAR was initially piloted with 8 hubs and results were reported through the Accrual Metric Pilot Test Final Report.

Over the last couple of months, questions and concerns have been shared with us regarding the implementation of the Median Accrual Ratio metric.  Consequently, we are embarking on a CTSA Program wide Expanded MAR metric Pilot. Participation is voluntary. However, our consortium is only as strong and effective as each of its hubs. Your hub’s participation in the expanded pilot testing can make a difference. CLIC will be collecting data regarding participation in this Expanded Pilot and more information can be found here.

We are constantly “experimenting” to make the process of translation a better one, so let’s keep working on this! Remember, we can only show improvement (and impact!) in what we measure.

Medical logic: Dying of old age is like dying of not dying.