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What, when, where, why, how, who questions - white chalk handwriting on vintage slate blackboards in colorful wood framesIn the evolving landscape of healthcare, one simple yet transformative action stands out: asking. It’s the catalyst for a paradigm shift, an invitation to a dialogue that holds the potential to reshape patient care and clinical trials in profound ways.

Welcome to the “Just Ask” series—an endeavor dedicated to igniting change by encouraging clinicians and clinical trial sites to embrace the power of a single question: “Are you interested in learning more about a clinical trial?”

Shocking statistics reveal that only a mere 25% of patients report being asked about their interest in clinical trials.[1]

In addition to this, we have the barriers and disparities in access to trials and care for diverse populations. These issues pose a significant challenge, not just in meeting recruitment timelines but also in fostering inclusivity and obtaining quality data.

But “Just Ask” isn’t just about clinical trials; it’s a call to action to revolutionize patient-clinician communication. In this series we will delve into the art of asking—asking more, asking better, and asking the questions that truly matter.

Clinicians play a pivotal role in patient care beyond diagnosing and treating patients. While many patients and caregivers take on the burden of figuring out questions to ask and information on treatment options, it’s really time for healthcare professionals to initiate conversations aimed at understanding patients on a deeper level more often. Exploring their challenges, unmet needs, stressors, and treatment goals creates a foundation for more personalized, effective care plans.

Yet, the gap remains. Not enough clinicians ask patients about their tolerability to side effects, treatment goals, concerns, or stress triggers. “Just Ask” seeks to bridge this divide by encouraging conversations that go beyond and embrace the human experience.

This series is a beacon for change, a platform to spark discussions, and a guide for navigating these crucial conversations. It’s about fostering an environment where patients feel heard, valued, and included—a space where their voices shape the future of research and healthcare. It’s time to harness the power of asking, driving transformative change and creating a healthcare landscape where every question holds the potential to partner with patients and improve their care. Asking more and better questions has the potential for saving time, money, and resources while increasing patient satisfaction so it can be a win for patients, clinicians, and healthcare organizations.

So welcome to the “Just Ask” series—where a simple question becomes a catalyst for monumental change in 2024 and beyond. Join the conversation, and let’s revolutionize healthcare, one question at a time.

[1] Anderson, N. Getz, J. Benger. Applied Clinical Trials. Patient Input into Leveraging the Healthcare Professional’s Role. Applied Clinical Trials-04-01-2018, Volume 27, Issue 4. Published April 2018. Accessed October 19, 2023.

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