6th National Meeting of Study Nurses and Clinical Trial Coordinators

For the sixth time, clinical trial coordinators and study nurses from all over the Czech Republic met in Brno. The traditional conference, organised by the Masaryk Cancer Institute with the support of CZECRIN and the PharmAround Foundation, took place on 7 September 2023 at the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University.

The interest in the conference increases every year. This year, it has already recorded over 200 participants, among which were representatives of 25 Czech and 4 Slovak medical institutions, as well as representatives of 10 pharmaceutical companies and CROs conducting clinical trials in the Czech Republic. This year, for the first time, the conference was also attended by representatives of the management of medical institutions, who discussed the training and working conditions of study coordinators.

“The tradition of meeting study coordinators started in 2012, when it was an intimate event for 55 people. We are pleased that over the years it has grown into a large professional conference, which always has a very pleasant atmosphere, and in addition to interesting lectures, the participants also take away the experience of personal meetings, mutual support and exchange of experience,” says Michaela Hanáková from the team of organizers of the Masaryk Cancer Institute.

This year’s programme reflected the fact that the study coordinator is becoming an established profession that finds an irreplaceable place in all types of healthcare facilities and in all areas of medicine. A clinical study coordinator is a professional who performs the role of a clinical study manager in a health care facility, coordinates the study team, oversees compliance with the study protocol, and above all, participates in the recruitment of patients with whom he or she interacts at each visit, provides patient education, and performs specialized activities. Most often this is a non-medical health professional.

The first session of the conference focused on the changes that clinical trials have undergone in terms of their practical implementation over 20 years and outlined the directions that trials will take in the near future – decentralised trials, the use of Home Care and the implementation of electronic source documentation.

The second part of the conference gave an insight into the practice of study coordinators in intensive care medicine, paediatric oncology and also behind the scenes of the work of external coordinators who work in multiple centres within the Site Management Organisation.

At the end of the conference, opinions were expressed on the role of study coordinators from the perspective of healthcare institutions, physicians and representatives of study sponsors. Across the board, there was a consensus that without the involvement of clinical study coordinators, the implementation of studies in healthcare facilities is not possible. However, their specialisation training and formalisation of the profession within the framework of the Catalogue of Work remains to be addressed in the long term.

The conference also included the premiere of the film A Day with a Clinical Trial Coordinator produced by the Masaryk Cancer Institute. It depicts common activities within a clinical trial coordinator’s working day and will serve as educational and promotional material for the profession.