The Recruitment Innovation Unit (RIU) is comprised of a dedicated liaison and interdisciplinary committee, to enhance recruitment efforts across all CTSC partner institutions and liaise with the national Recruitment Innovation Center (RIC). The RIU will optimize recruitment strategies by collaborating closely with the following:
- Informatics to leverage electronic health record (EHR) resources such as i2b2, EpicAlerts, and ResearchMatch;
- The PCORI-funded and Weill Cornell-led New York City-Clinical Research Data Network (NYC-CDRN) to expand recruitment to over 4.4 million patients in the NYC metropolitan area (including all six regional CTSAs and 20 affiliated institutions);
- Community Interactive Videoconferencing (CIVIC), a unique and powerful recruitment tool to connect researchers with multiple underserved and minority communities;
- Community Advisory Board (CAB) to advise researchers on culturally appropriate recruitment strategies that reflect the needs and values of the target population; and
- Research Subject Advocates (RSAs) to train investigators on best practices for approaching potential participants and obtaining consent.
A fundamental goal of the Weill Cornell CTSC is the accurate identification and recruitment of eligible subjects for both local studies and multi-site trials across CTSA hubs. The Recruitment Innovation Unit (RIU) will liaise with the national Recruitment Innovation Centers (RICs) and implement novel, collaborative recruitment strategies within the hub. Working with the CTSC Informatics Core, this unit will leverage informatics technology interoperability across regional CTSA hubs and community-based hospitals and clinics to rapidly estimate participant availability, identify appropriate partners for multi-site studies, and recruit eligible participants. Academic-community partnerships will be leveraged during both the planning and implementation phases of trials so that relevant stakeholders, such as patient advocacy groups, can provide input into study design and act as conduits to special populations to accelerate recruitment within communities of interest. These combined efforts will begin early and be sustained throughout the lifecycle of the protocol.