Feasibility: Avoiding the Perils of Over Promising & Under Delivering

by Susan Phillippe, Director

Feasibility in healthcare recruiting is a promise. Whether it’s qual or quant research, feasibility is the first commitment we make to a client, and it’s the one that sets the foundation for the project. If we say a project is feasible, then that means we are committed to seeing it through to the end – no getting 70 completes out of a 100 and then telling the client they are on their own for the other 30.  An accurate feasibility assessment ensures that we do not over promise and under deliver.

In addition to getting an accurate view of the project, a feasibility discussion can be useful even before you submit a proposal to a client.  In fact, we’re happy to consult and be a sounding board at the study concept stage.  We’ll provide insights, such as sharing what we’ve done in that space previously, to help direct your client conversations, proposals and study designs.

Once you’re ready for the formal feasibility estimate, we’ll ask questions and possibly ask for a little more time:

First, the questions: 

  • What is the target audience? Be specific. If you need Neurologists who are Parkinson’s Disease treaters, please let us know. Provision of all the information from your RFQ in this regard is extremely helpful.  
  • What is the target quantity?  And, if there is a hard quota among the sub-groups, be sure to include that information.
  • What is the Incidence Rate (IR) within each target?  If this is unknown, we can help you estimate it!
  • Are there (end) client target list restrictions? If so, is the list available for feasibility assessment?
  • What is the length of time for the interaction?
  • What is the type of interaction (“straight” survey, chart audit, IDI)?

Second, the time:

  • Experiential perspective. With thousands of studies each year, we likely have past projects with similar qualifying criteria that can inform our feasibility estimate.
  • Historical polls.  We also maintain a library of past polls, which can assist in assessing feasibility.
  • Real-time polls.  For some proposals, we can conduct no-charge polls with our healthcare professional panel. This can be particularly helpful when there is limited historical information to draw from, such as with rare diseases.

Answering these questions and allowing extra time for our feasibility assessment can seem cumbersome, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  A thorough feasibility assessment helps ensure that you get the respondents you expected, and that your project doesn’t fall short.