What Are You Missing in Your Online Screening Questionnaire?

It takes time to fully enrol participants for your clinical study. Much of that time is spent screening candidates for eligibility. Even if you’re already using a tried-and-true process for patient recruitment, you could be missing an opportunity to save yourself valuable hours by pre-screening your candidates.

Utilizing online screening questionnaires to determine eligibility can be a great tool to keep your trial recruitment process on time and better-managed. If you’re already pre-screening potential participants, you might be missing some key questions that will help you better funnel your candidates into a list of viable patients for your clinical study.

Below, we’ve listed 4 things you may be missing from your online screening questionnaire.

1. You’re collecting valuable data, but your questionnaire can’t determine a patient’s eligibility.

Often, pre-screening questionnaires will collect important information around the medical criteria necessary for the clinical study. However, the questionnaires themselves are unable to assess whether someone is eligible or ineligible to participate in the trial. To accommodate for this, an office staffer must manually go through each individual response to determine the candidates’ eligibility. This process is lengthy and can take a significant amount of time.

2. Your questionnaire asks patients about eligibility criteria, but not about practical criteria.

It’s easy to remember to include all the relevant medical questions that pertain to whether a patient is a good candidate for your clinical study; it’s also easy to forget that there are other factors that may affect their ability to participate. Without knowing the more practical facts about your participants, you run the risk of them leaving the study early due to conflicts. These critical criteria include how near or far the patient lives from your research site and the patient’s availability during the trial term.

If your patient lives a far distance from your research site, they may come for the first few scheduled visits, but due to the difficulty of traveling to and from your office, they could choose to drop out of the clinical trial early. Furthermore, if your trial patient will be traveling for any reason during your study, they may be unavailable during key check-in points required for your data collection. This is especially true in longer-term studies.

Another good practical question to screen for is whether your patients are willing to undergo any particularly invasive procedures that are required for the trial. Some procedures are more intense than others and as such, some candidates may be hesitant about signing on for the study.

Even if a patient is eligible in every other way, identifying with either of these factors should generally exclude them.

3. Your online screening questionnaire is not mobile-friendly.

In this day and age of ever-changing technology, companies the world over are scrambling to make their services and products available via smartphone, tablet PC, iPad, or other mobile device. If your questionnaire is not accessible on a mobile device, it’s possible that some eligible candidates won’t take the time to complete it. You could be missing out on opportunities in your patient recruitment process.

4. You don’t have your contact details anywhere on your online screening questionnaire.

It may seem like contact information is something that everyone includes on their screening questionnaire, but often this small detail is missing from participant surveys. If a candidate is filling out your questionnaire, they may have concerns they would like to contact you about. They may complete the questionnaire and want to follow up. Regardless of their intentions, including your contact information somewhere on the survey form will give your candidates a little peace of mind.


Utilizing online screening questionnaires is a practical and wise solution to determining eligibility of the candidates in your patient pool. By carefully ensuring you’ve included the right kind of questions and information, you will make your pre-screening process more streamlined and efficient.

Want help finding eligible candidates? Trialfacts has a database of over 25,000 patients that have been pre-screened to match with your clinical trial. We take care of the recruiting process for your study, freeing up your time to manage your patients more effectively. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find eligible patients for your clinical trial.

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