How to Keep Your Trial on Track: The 4 Red Flags to Look Out For

According to the NIH, 90% of clinical trials fail. That’s a daunting number. What can you do to keep your trial on track to success? While it’s impossible to anticipate every possible scenario, there are some red flags you can look out for.

One thing we all know is that when you’re conducting a clinical trial, things won’t always go according to plan. There can be sudden changes in timelines and issues with resourcing. Sometimes one of your partners might let you down. To put it simply, surprises will happen, and surprises can mean delays. But when should you make the difficult decision to transition your trial to another lab partner? Could that transition be the critical moment that keeps your trial from failing?

Here are the top four red flags that might signal it’s time to save your trial and make a change: 

Red flag 1: High incidence of missing or lost samples.

Misrouted samples that never get rerouted are often caused by sites having to manage sample shipments going to multiple locations. This could put your trial at risk and is a red flag. If you switch, you’ll want to look for a partner who can simplify and consolidate global shipping hubs to guarantee that samples get shipped to the appropriate testing labs.

Red flag 2: High incidence of testing cancellations.

If your misrouted samples are successfully rerouted, it won’t matter if they get to the testing lab past their stability window. Are you tired of testing cancellations? You’ll need to transition to a partner who can help consolidate and optimize shipping routes to ensure you meet your timelines.

Red flag 3: Inability to get lab kits on-site on time.

Have you missed a key visit or recruitment of a patient due to late or insufficient lab kits? A red flag like this might mean it’s time to switch. You should look for a partner who has a well-defined process that makes it easy to transition your trial so you can effectively get kits on-site quickly.

Red flag 4: High sample collection errors due to complex testing.

If sample integrity gets compromised, sites lose valuable outcomes data. And that’s a red flag that means you need to look for a partner that can come to the rescue with customized kits that meet the unique needs of your protocol. They should also be supported by a network of labs that can support your clinical research trial.


Red flags call for a rapid response.

Now that you know the flags to look out for, what’s next? When you find yourself in a reactive situation, it’s important to have a proactive partner. If you’re facing a transition scenario, LabConnect’s Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) was built specifically to rescue clinical studies and help them get back on track.

Curious how our Rapid Intervention Team rescues trials?

Download our case study to learn how our team springs into action to make things right.