US-based clinical research platform Paradigm has unveiled results from its collaboration with Altru Health System to improve the efficiency of its clinical research program.

The collaboration was aimed at expanding access to clinical research for patients at 46 locations across a rural area spanning over 6437km2 area in North Dakota and Minnesota.

According to Paradigm, access to clinical research is one of the crucial components of patient care for the treatment of cancer, which is often lacking.

Altru said that its primary research objective is to provide every patient with opportunities to benefit from clinical research as a care option, regardless of physical location.

Before partnering with Paradigm, it has identified that patient recruitment infrastructure and staffing capacity are barriers that are negatively impacting cancer care organisations.

Altru Health System research program manager Ashlee Dagoberg said: “The healthcare industry has a moral obligation to reduce the barriers to patient access to clinical research.

“Patients in rural communities face geographic and socioeconomic burdens that inhibit access to novel treatments.

“It is imperative that we expand patient access to research through community health systems to provide all people with equal opportunities and the possibility of achieving better health outcomes.”

Altru is a non-profit community healthcare provider and member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network that serves 225,000 residents in a rural area in North Dakota and Minnesota.

The company adopted Paradigm’s platform and incorporated its clinical services, while Paradigm integrated Altru’s data and source systems into its platform.

The approach fulfilled the necessary infrastructure for effective, data-driven patient screening for clinical trial opportunities across all Altru locations.

Altru deployed Paradigm’s platform and clinical services in clinical workflows to pre-screen patients for potential clinical trial participation, regardless of location.

The annual pre-screening increased from 10,200 cancer patients to more than 21,200 cancer patient visits within Altru Cancer Center, while reducing the burden on Altru staff.

Furthermore, Paradigm and Altru worked to simplify the pathway to enrollment, resulting in nearly 3x as many patients choosing clinical research as a care option.

Dagoberg added: “Altru Health System historically enrolled 4% of our cancer patient population in clinical trials. Our partnership with Paradigm and our Research Department’s implementation of industry-leading best practices increased this enrollment to 11% of the population.

“This has a profound impact on patients’ lives in a rural community that otherwise would not have access to clinical research as a care option.”