Clinical Research

Clinical trials are research studies designed to answer specific questions about the effectiveness and safety of new products or new ways to prevent or treat diseases. They are founded on a close collaboration between the medical/research staff and the volunteers, both patients and healthy members of the community, who make up the core of a research trial.

In a real way, clinical trials help determine the future of medicine, and Providence is dedicated to bringing that future into reality. We combine the talents and skills of world-class physicians and a highly-trained research staff to make our hospitals top research centers throughout Washington state.

We monitor all clinical research at our locations to make sure that the work follows good clinical practice guidelines, federal, and local laws, that the research is done properly, and the patient is protected at all times.

Frequently asked questions 

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Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center

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Probably not. Federal law prohibits paying for participation in a clinical trial in most situations. Occasionally a sponsor will offer a travel stipend for a study visit, but that’s about it. If there are any direct monetary benefits to you, your Research Coordinator will explain them to you during the consenting process.

Participants often have access to medical treatments, devices, or drugs that they might not otherwise be able to have or afford. Participants receive extra follow-up in addition to their standard care. And participants become part of the advancement of medicine. The gift of their input and responses has a sizable effect in how medicines are formulated, procedures are written, and devices are developed. You make a difference.

Best answer: It depends. Usually, there will not be a financial cost. The sponsoring companies want to make participation as easy on you as possible. But there will be a commitment of time and some energy on your part. You will probably be expected to come into the research center at regular intervals, there may be blood or tissue samples taken. It all depends on what the study is looking for. If there are actual charges, those would vary depending on the study. Again, your research coordinator will lay all this out for you before you make the decision whether or not to participate.

It depends. If we’re just doing measurements, there might be no real risk at all. Other studies, involving investigational drugs or devices, might have an increased amount of risk. It all depends on the study and the circumstances around it. The chance of risk would be fully explained to you in the consent process, and then it would be up to you whether or not you consider the risk acceptable.

No. Your participation in a clinical trial is completely voluntary. You join a study voluntarily, you can leave it at any time voluntarily, usually just by withdrawing your consent. What you usually cannot do, however, is leave a study and then rejoin it. For the vast majority of all studies, if you withdraw consent, you’re out of that particular study for good.

We list the trials we’re recruiting for on research.providence.org. If you see a trial there that interests you, send us a message with your contact information and which trial you’re thinking of. We’ll get back to you. Every clinical trial has inclusion and exclusion restrictions – certain conditions that they require to be present, and conditions that cannot be present – before you can get on the trial. There is no guarantee you’ll be able to get into the trial you want.

Before anyone can take part in a clinical research study, they have to go through a consenting process that outlines what the research is and what will be expected of the participant. This is federally mandated, with some specific requirements, all with an eye towards protecting you. During the consent process, you would be asked a series of questions to make sure you fit the trial in question. All aspects of the trial would be covered, and you would be given opportunities to ask any questions you have. If you agree to join, you’ll get a copy of the consent form for your very own.