This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to Clinical IVR Development and custom IVR software and products.
Business phone systems and toll free answering systems (generally 800 numbers and their equivalent) are very popular for service and sales organizations, allowing customers and prospects to call your organization anywhere in the country.
The PACER and WIZARD IVR System is just one of many DSC call center phone system features..
Optimizing the Supply Chain Through Trial Simulation
What is IVR Software?. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) processes inbound phone calls, plays recorded messages including information extracted from databases and the internet, and potentially routes calls to either inhouse service agents or transfers the caller to an outside extension.
Contact DSC today. to learn more about our IVR services and IVR application development software.
By: Damian McEntegart, Nikki Dowlman, Martin Lang, Graham Nicholls
Stephen Bacon, Jeremy Star, Bill Byrom
Applied Clinical Trials
Simulation tools empower sponsors to confidently choose the best drug supply strategies in IVR Trials.
Management of supplies is an area where sponsor companies are seeing perhaps the greatest changes due to the increased pressure in bringing drugs to market faster.1 This often means Trials start earlier, with fewer supplies. They may be larger, both in terms of numbers of subjects and in the geographic area of trial participants. There is often more competition for the available supplies, since different Trials using the same drug run in the same period of time. There may even be a need to pool supplies across studies, making medication units available to a number of concurrent Trials.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems provide one possible way of addressing this challenge. IVR systems have been used to significantly reduce the amount of overage and wastage in the clinical supply chain by ensuring efficient targeting of available supplies to the sites that are actively recruiting and retaining subjects.
How these systems operate to manage the clinical trial supply chain is well documented elsewhere.2-4 However, previously it has not been possible to fully estimate the amount of savings in material that can be gained by implementing an IVR-con-trolled supply chain within a clinical trial. For this reason, the potential savings in drug supply may not be fully realized. By building a simulation model that mimics the medication-conserving supply chain processes implemented by IVR, it was hoped that two main objectives would be achieved. First, it would enable accurate estimates of supply needs for clinical Trials using IVR. Second, it would obtain a greater understanding of the IVR-managed supply chain to further refine and improve the algorithms used within the system itself.
This article describes a simulation model of the clinical supply chain managed by an IVR system and examines the results of the model when applied to an example study.
Simulation of an IVR-managed supply chain
Optimizing the medication supply chain strategy and then managing it using IVR can be complex, involving many factors. Minimization of study drug requirements, for example, is a nontrivial problem, dependent on the interaction of many factors and variables. (Although this article focuses on simulating an IVR-controlled supply chain, it should be noted that a similar approach could be adopted to consider traditional packaging and manual stocking and re-supply of sites, but would require the model to follow different rules and algorithms.)
Previously, clinical supply teams used the performance of older Trials to understand how much material was likely to be required in a new study and to determine their supply chain requirements. They may have examined key performance variables such as subject recruitment rates, the number of drug kits used, countries involved in past studies, and so on. However, such techniques often result in "best guess" estimates for medication management, making the impact of small changes in study design, randomization methodology, medication packaging and labelling or expiry date difficult to account. Simulating the IVR management of a clinical trial allows the supplies group to experiment with a variety of strategies and scenarios. In this way, the amount of clinical material required can be identified and the supply chain can be optimized.
Modelling real world variability
The simulation builds a model that mimics aspects of the drug distribution process, such as recruitment, withdrawal, shipment times, randomization methodology, etc. This allows for effective optimization of medication management strategies, as well as identification of how much material is required for an upcoming clinical trial by evaluating different supply chain scenarios. Some processes, such as subject recruitment, are variable, so it is important that the modelling approach incorporates variability into the study. This way, a full range of outcomes can be studied.