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Challenge # 22: There is no such thing as the lost of sight!

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Good morning, everyone. This is Vanessa Montanari from the clinical research blog for Pharmaspecific. Today we’re going to be talking about the lost sight and found. There’s no such thing as lost to memory. It’s a phrase that my former manager used to say to me in a previous professional life and it’s a phrase that I’ve retained because it intrigued me a lot and it’s almost difficult not to actually find a patient.

It’s quite rare. Really, if we look for it, we can manage to find the patient. So, what’s a patient who’s lost to the world… Actually, it’s a patient we haven’t heard from, whose investigator hasn’t heard from. And your role as ARC is to help the centre, not to phone the patient, or try to contact the patient, but to give them ideas to help them find the patient. So here are some examples of ideas you can give the centre to help them find their patients. So, first of all, you can ask them to make a phone call to the patient. That’s the easiest way. There is no news, the patient doesn’t show up, you can ask them to contact the patient at home on his mobile phone or try to contact a family member. Often in medical records there are names of trusted people that the patient has agreed to note in the file. So you can call the clinical studies technician or the doctor can call this number. The CRA, of course, is not in direct contact with the patient, so they can’t call the patient. It’s really the clinical studies technician and the investigator who will do this action.

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Then, secondly, they can’t get the patient on the phone. The other solution may be to contact the town hall of the residence or the town hall of birth. We will say the town hall of birth because if the patient, for example, is deceased, the town hall of birth will put a mention of death on the patient’s birth certificate. Then, the town hall will also be able to provide a death certificate for the patient. So you can actually contact the town hall. There are websites that are made for that. In fact, there are state sites that you can find and actually send a request to the town hall or you can do it directly online. It’s very simple and you don’t have to be close to the patient to ask if he or she is dead. It’s a fairly simple procedure. There you go. Then the other solution is to contact the general practitioners and the specialist doctors that are in the patient’s medical file. So the patient went to the investigator, but he also went to other people, other doctors, either general practitioners or specialists. So we have to try to contact these doctors, make a list of these doctors in the medical file and contact them to ask them if they have not heard from the patient. Then you also have the possibility to contact the analysis laboratories. So the patient may have had tests, blood tests. He may have been in contact with people in the laboratory and sometimes, if the patient lives in a small town like that, he was in contact with people. People know him. Alternatively, you can try to contact the patient’s old hospital. Often he is with the investigator in one hospital but he may also have been in another hospital. So you can contact that other hospital and ask them about the patient. So there are specialists in that hospital, who may be able to give you information, but normally you should be able to find that patient and find out if he has decided to abandon the project. So, if he has decided to abandon the project, then there will be things to be done according to this abandonment. Or, if he finally moved or had a little problem and he couldn’t call to say he was going to stop.

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Bye, now.

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