blog May 9, 2019

CRAACO 2019 Recap

Clinical research as a care option was founded on the premise of integrating clinical research as part of the patient care continuum to enhance health outcomes, reduce costs, and enhance the patient and provider experience. The CRAACO Conference provides a space for individuals to learn more about why we should deploy clinical research as a care option and how to effectively operationalize the service to drive value for both healthcare and drug development stakeholders. Adoption of CRAACO requires we eliminate the “vs” in care vs research and engage on the basis of care AND research.

This year’s CRAACO Conference, held in Raleigh-Durham, NC, brought together a diverse group of change agents including healthcare and clinical research leaders, patient advocates and supporting service providers who came together to discuss ways in which we build new business models, partnerships, data insights, and share lessons learned to improve access to clinical trials together.

To kick off the meeting, Jennifer Byrne, CEO of Javara, moderated the opening session on the topic of Understanding the Goals of Care vs Research. This session included panelists Dr. Greg Burke, Chief Science Officer, of Wake Forest School of Medicine, and Amy Nordo, Director of eSource Implementation, at Pfizer. The panelist-initiated discussions emphasized that the goals of care and research should be effectively aligned. These two areas are not working to compete, but to improve the other. The pharma industry is a part of healthcare and the healthcare journey of a patient can be enhanced by research.

Later, Munther Baara, Head of New Clinical Paradigm at Pfizer, talked about his company’s collaborative approach with a healthcare system to integrate clinical research into clinical care. Munther challenged the attendees to be truly innovative, sharing that “Creativity is thinking new things, while innovation is doing new things.” This conversation encouraged the audience to not only think creatively but also to ignite their creativity which sparks innovation, leading to lasting change in development in the integration of clinical research as a care option.

“Creativity is thinking new things, while innovation is doing new things.”

The keynote speaker, Dr. Laura Esserman, Director of Franc Buck Breast Center at UCSF, shared her work with OneSource, an eSource system that allows a patient’s physicians at multiple locations to work from the same source documents. By providing investigators and the research team a patient’s complete medical history, more accurate research will be performed.

Dr. Jonathan Jackson, Director of CARE Research Center at Mass General Hospital, highlighted that accessibility of trials is different from access to trials. He addressed the desperate need for increased patient literacy in multiple areas: health, medicine, research, and insurance. Without a full understanding of these areas, patients will not be able to fully understand the benefits of research.

After two full days of conversation and idea sharing, the conference concluded with a group brainstorming session. Attendees gathered into small groups to answer questions and establish next steps in this evolving movement, facilitated by Joseph Ternullo, Vice Chair and Immediate Past President of the Society for Participatory Medicine, and Mary Hennings, Mary N. Hennings, Consulting LLC, formerly of BCBS.

The concluding session encouraged attendees to think about questions such as, “What is the biggest challenge to the CRAACO movement?” For Javara we see the biggest challenge is increasing access to clinical trials. Conversely, we see the biggest opportunity is to improve access to clinical trials. Together, we can do this, we must do this for all of us for now and the future.