Clinical Research at Sparks Health System
Clinical research is a controlled study designed to test the safety and effectiveness of new drugs or devices used for prevention, treatment, diagnosis or relief from symptoms of a disease.
Clinical research studies vary greatly in size and scope. They range from a single researcher working in one facility, to international, multi-center studies conducted across several continents. The number of participants in a clinical study can be a few dozen, up to several thousand. Researchers determine the trial size necessary to discern the effectiveness of a given drug, procedure or medical device.
What do I need to understand before participating in a clinical research study?
Although clinical trials follow well-established guidelines, each will have its own goals and scientific and medical parameters. You will need to know this information before volunteering to participate. Here are some basic questions to get you started.
- What is the purpose of the study?
- Who is going to be in the study?
- What testing and treatments are involved?
- How might the trial affect my daily life?
- How long will the trial last?
- Where will the study be done?
- Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
- What type of long term follow-up is part of the study?
- Who may I contact if I have any questions?
The trial coordinator will make sure you fully understand the purpose of all the requirements and what is expected. Talk to your doctor, he or she may be familiar with the drug or procedure being studied and will help you weigh the benefits and risks involved, so you can make an informed decision.
How will I benefit?
When you participate in research studies at Sparks Health System, you will have access to the most advanced drugs, therapies and treatments—many of which might not be available in all hospitals or clinics. You will also experience the satisfaction that comes from taking an active role in the advancement of medical science. Many of the studies we participate in are supported by private industry or other grants. This funding allows our participants to:
- Receive research-related medication
- Have diagnostic testing performed
- Access physician assessments at no cost
- Attend ongoing education seminars
- Have frequent contact with the research team
- Help others by contributing to medical research
- Be compensated for their participation in research trials
What kind of research is being done?
Clinical studies conduct scientific research to address a wide variety of medical conditions. Physicians Regional Healthcare System is currently involved in clinical studies related to:
Complicated Intra-Abdominal Infections
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PAD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Before participating in a clinical study, you must first be screened to ensure you meet specific criteria. Some studies want people with a particular medical condition, while others are looking for volunteers in good health. Determining whether you fit the group in a clinical study is the first step in the process.
Why participate in clinical research?
Your participation, when approved, allows access to new medical breakthroughs that might not otherwise be available. Scientific clinical studies play a crucial part in approving the latest advances in medical technology. This vital research allows professionals to test and analyze new treatments and procedures.
How do I get more information?
We encourage you to discuss clinical research with your physician and, of course, a member of our staff. We are likely involved in a study that might be right for you. Research participation is entirely voluntary; no pressure is ever placed on the patient. Should you decide not to become involved in a research study, your quality care at Sparks will continue as originally planned.
Talk to the clinical trial coordinator. This person is trained to listen and help you decide whether a particular trial is your best course of action. The coordinator will discuss your health, the clinical trial and how it could possibly benefit you. It is your decision and we are here to help you make the one that is best for you.
We are here to help. Contact us for more information.
Participating in a clinical research study can be rewarding and beneficial.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming involved in one of our clinical trials, or for help with other research-related questions, please contact our research department: (877) 488-2841.