4 Ways Virtual Investigator Meetings Increase PI Attendance

Post By Ilona Gregory

Investigator meetings (IMs) are critically important to a successful study launch, providing time to discuss Principal Investigator responsibilities, 

and conduct an in-depth review of the study protocol. If IMs are so important, why do so many PIs choose to not attend? Here are the challenges surrounding PI attendance, as well as MedPoint Digital’s solution: virtual IMs.

Challenge #1: Meeting Time = Time Away from Practice

PIs have to manage the demands of academic medicine, a busy clinical practice, and the workload associated with multiple trials. Many PIs operate in clinical settings where “time away from practice” is closely tracked and limited. It’s no surprise that they don’t have time to travel back and forth to investigator meetings.  

Solution: Eliminate Travel

Virtual IMs require no travel, reducing the time commitment for PIs by 50% to 75%. That makes the value:time ratio for virtual IMs 2 to 4 times higher than on-site meetings. For this reason, experience has proven that significantly more PIs will attend virtual IMs.

Challenge #2: Irrelevancy and Redundancy

IMs are structured so that attendees sit through a repetitive agenda about good general practice and other standard topics. Experienced PIs are expected to endure presentations on topics they have seen many times before, or topics that are more appropriate for other role players at their site.

Solution: Focus the IM Agenda

Structured virtual IMs with special sessions and break-out groups allow for experienced PIs to attend sessions that actually require their attention. For instance, training on how to use the EDC system can be a session required for study coordinators, but optional for PIs. Moving topics such as GCP off the agenda shortens virtual IM time as well. Putting GCP training on a 24/7 training portal eliminates unnecessary repetition. 

Challenge #3: Death by PowerPoint

IMs are traditionally held as a series of slide presentations that are developed and delivered by subject matter experts (SMEs) from study teams, outside consultants and vendors. The problem is that SMEs are often not skilled as presenters or content developers.  Several hundred slides result in an overwhelming, non-interactive data dump. 

Solution: Interaction and Multimedia

Especially in the context of IMs that may last 3 to 6 hours, it is critical to engage VIPs audiences such as PIs. Fortunately, a host of interactive and multimedia options are readily available to make virtual IMs highly engaging. Skillful execution, experienced instructional design and event pre-production all transform a virtual IM into a rewarding experience for PIs. 

Challenge #4: Less-Demanding Options

Experienced PIs know that they can skip an IM and still complete required training, either on a training portal, or by the CRA during a site visit. These options require a much smaller time commitment from busy PIs. As a result, only 40% to 60% of PIs attend investigator meetings, with Sub-Investigators often attending in their place. Unfortunately sponsors don’t get the same camaraderie and motivation that comes from bringing PIs together in a live meeting. 

Solution: The Optimal Option

Virtual IMs are highly time efficient, and offer a more interesting and high-quality experience than other training options. They offer a more compelling, live experience in which PIs can hear directly from SMEs and have a voice of their own  via live Q&A, polling and chat activities. Many sponsors hold 2 to 4 virtual IMs to accommodate global time zones, which also allows PIs from any region to select the event that fits their schedule. As a result, sponsors routinely see 25% to 40% higher PI attendance using the virtual IM format.

Want to see for yourself? We invite you to experience a MedPoint Digital virtual IM, and see how we combine innovative technology with time-tested best practices to deliver an elevated meeting experience. We promise you’ll discover dynamic features that you’ve never seen before, and have a virtual IM experience that is far from the ordinary. The adventure begins when you …

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You can also learn more about our virtual investigator meetings here.

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