Tom Brazier is the Head of Study Start-Up at mdgroup; he manages our Global Start-Up Team, delivering projects from sales right the way through to the point of service – including Mobile Health and Patient Retention support. Tom ensures that, no matter what, we’re always ready to support patients with whatever they need – from travel arrangements to claiming reimbursements.
An important part of Tom’s role is document design, ranging from source data forms through to patient-facing forms which explain our services and allow patients to get in touch with us. Tom is an integral part of ensuring that every patient we support has a remarkable experience right from the very start of their clinical journey.
We spoke to Tom about his team’s vision and mission, his passion for his role, and what it’s like being part of the mdfamily.
First of all, Tom, tell us more about your team’s mission and vision
The Global Start-Up Team mission is to create a solid foundation for all of mdgroup’s projects. We provide oversight, consistency and exceptionally high-quality documentation during the early stages of each project. We work closely with other internal teams, as well as clients to ensure the full scope of a project is identified and agreed on. Then, we implement that scope into the project documents which lay the groundwork for the Project Management and Conduct Team further down the road.
As a team we work hard to create an atmosphere where people feel safe to innovate and take calculated risks. That’s how we create a culture of continuous improvement. We’re never completely satisfied with a process or document template, we’re always trying to improve them. That keeps us extremely busy – and highly motivated!
What is your team’s commitment to creating remarkable patient experiences?
We directly impact the patient experience by ensuring all patient documents are high quality, accessible and easy to understand. Indirectly, but just as importantly, all the documents we create for healthcare professionals ensure that when they see patients, they’re as prepared as possible and give the patient the best possible experience.
We also work with sites to ensure their training material and forms are simple and effective. Without the sites buying into our services, we can’t have a positive impact on patients there.
What are you most passionate about in your role?
For me, it’s all about people. Internally, I want to make sure everyone is happy in their role and has all the tools they need to succeed. I work with them so that they can develop themselves to be the best they can be. Externally, I enjoy working closely with our clients, making sure they’re getting the best possible service from us and – most importantly – patients are getting the best experience we can deliver. It’s all about making the patient experience accessible and reducing the barriers to being involved in clinical trials as much as possible.
How has mdgroup evolved since you started working here?
Saying “a lot” would be an understatement. When I started in November 2019 our Mobile Health offering didn’t exist, we were mostly providing patient travel and accommodation reimbursement, and there were only two of us in the Start-Up Team. Since then, we’ve shifted to working almost exclusively on Mobile Health projects and have had to adapt very quickly. We’ve recruited people with expertise in that area, ensuring they’ve been fully involved in building new services to make them as good as they can possibly be, and driving our continuous improvement culture to make sure we’re not standing still.
What are some examples of how your team has supported patients through Home Health?
For one of our more complex projects, a member of our team came up with a whole new design for the source data forms nurses use during home visits. As well as helping to record source data, it also gives them a step-by-step checklist to go through, helping them feel prepared in front of the patient and as confident as possible. This also gives the patient the best experience, as nurses are more efficient and can get the job done well.
What’s it like to work at mdgroup?
It’s fast-paced and ever-changing, and whatever happens, the people around you always get you through. Whenever you feel like you’ve got more projects on than you can possibly handle, there’s always someone in the team who will put their hand up and offer to help. The sense of teamwork and collaboration is really strong, especially within the Start-Up Team. I love working with them, it’s what keeps me going.
And finally, what’s next for your team and mdgroup?
The thing about continuous improvement is it never stops. Our immediate focus is document improvement, finding new processes and ways we can standardise documents to make them higher quality across the board, and as polished as possible. Then we’ll get them translated ahead of time which will save time and money for our clients. Once we have those efficiencies in place, the improvement in timelines will benefit everyone – clients, patients and the mdgroup team. It’s a win-win.