The Power of One: How One Nurse Retained a Patient in a Critical Clinical Trial

The Power of One: How One Nurse Retained a Patient in a Critical Clinical Trial

The success of a clinical trial depends on recruiting study participants and maintaining participation for the entire duration of the study. Patient retention can be a very difficult challenge to overcome when the average drop-out rate for a clinical trial is 20-30%. In one recent example, UBC was asked to provide clinical trial support for a Phase III study evaluating the safety and efficacy of a fibrin sealant during surgery. We provided physical assessments and multiple complex blood specimen collections with centrifugation for 30 subjects throughout the United States.


The protocol requirement for this trial consisted of five study-specific lab specimen collections over the course of three months. UBC received a request for home-care services for a subject who was reported by both the site and the sponsor to have poor venous access. The subject refused venipunctures at two visits due to the continuous difficulty the site had drawing their blood. Additionally, the subject resided in Idaho and travel to the site in Utah became increasingly difficult.

Our Approach

UBC has Registered Nurses located within 90% of the U.S. population. We performed a robust credentialing process and successfully identified a nurse with very strong phlebotomy skills. The nurse contacted the subject 24 hours in advance of the home visit and instructed the patient to drink plenty of fluids in order to ease the lab specimen collection. The nurse traveled to the subject’s home, easing the patient’s travel burden. The subject gave the nurse verbal permission for only one attempt to collect the required lab specimens.

The nurse successfully obtained the required 10 lab specimens by using only one venipuncture. However, the centrifuge machine malfunctioned after the first centrifugation process was complete, leaving five critical lab specimens to process. Together, UBC and the nurse quickly located a local hospital that was able to centrifuge the remaining lab specimens. UBC alerted the site, program sponsor, and central lab of the situation and solution.

Generating Results

UBC was recognized by both the sponsor and site for the hard work and diligence we provided. After hearing that the nurse was able to successfully complete the visit and centrifugation, the sponsor stated, “Great news! Thank you again for all of your hard work on this case; it really paid off.” The subject was able to remain in the study because of the convenience and care provided by the nurse.

UBC Understands

Our clinical trial support team exemplifies flexibility, efficiency, and the willingness to go above and beyond in order to overcome patient retention challenges. UBC’s nursing network employs dedicated and talented Registered Nurses who adhere to the needs of all subjects, even those with unique requirements. Contact us to discuss how our clinical trial nursing services can provide support for your study or click here to download our free patient engagement whitepaper and discover more techniques for keeping patients enrolled in your study.

Subscribe to the UBC blog to stay up-to-date on clinical trial support nursing solutions.