The Different Kinds of Site Networks and the Benefits of Working with Them

In the world of clinical research, the definition of “site network” can be flexible. There are several different kinds of site networks, and each of them provide different services and benefits, but one thing they all provide is study identification. The three main types of site networks are Site Management Organizations (SMOs), Investigative Site Networks (ISNs), and Study Brokers. It’s important to note the differences between different kinds of site networks when deciding on which is best for your organization.

Site Management Organizations (SMOs) function differently than other types of site networks, mainly because they own and have exclusive relationships with the sites in their network. Budgets, contracts, and payments are managed by the SMO instead of being managed by the individual research sites. SMOs also typically provide administrative services such as patient recruitment, site staffing/training, business development, regulatory assistance, and receivables management.  

Unlike SMOs, Investigative Site Networks (ISNs) do not own the sites they work with. ISNs provide administrative services like SMOs, but the services may vary among different ISNs. Some services provided by ISNs include: budget and contract negotiations, regulatory assistance, patient recruitment, receivables management, PI/Site training, and site staffing. Like SMOs, ISNs always provide study identification services, but their geographic region and therapeutic areas range. 

Like ISNs, study brokers do not own or have exclusive relationships with sites; instead, they provide sites with services for a fixed fee or a percentage. Study brokers provide study identification services, and their therapeutic focus and geographic reach are broad. However, the additional services they provide are limited.

For research sites, working with a site network can be very beneficial. Site networks are a great way for research sites to find the processes that work for them, all while receiving more study opportunities, streamlining their study start-up processes, and building meaningful relationships with Sponsors and CROs. Working with a site network can also give research sites more flexibility and time to focus on what they do best, care for patients. For Sponsors and CROs, working with a site network also has some considerable benefits. Working with a site network provides a single source for finding qualified research sites, while also helping to streamline the study start-up process.

When deciding on whether your organization should work with a site network, it is important to understand the differences between them so you can find the site network that works best for you. Not all site networks are made equal, so it is important to do your research when it comes to determining which one to work with.

Want to learn more about the benefits of working with a site network? Contact us today to learn more.