RC-FOL Long-term patient follow-up

Direct Epidemio-Statistics helps medical specialists and health industry professionals track the progress of their patients faster and more cost-effectively, thanks to technology, design, and operational innovation.

RC-AVP / Addictions (psychiatrie)
RISK-SCO / Accident de la route
CIR / Agrément 2022, 23, 24

Conduct high response rate follow-ups

Direct Epidemio-Statistics helps you design, organize, and conduct long-term health data collection of patients. In order to minimize loss to follow-up and result variability, the epidemiological follow-up mission includes:

  • Filtering patients from the target population
  • Designing letters and questionnaires
  • Sending, collecting, and sorting mailings
  • Investigating lost to follow-up
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Define the research question

During this preliminary step, we help you formulate the research question to which the patient follow-up is expected to respond. We can examine, in particular:

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  • Clarity, specificity (target), and relevance of the question
  • Ease of understanding the question (ambiguity, technicality)
  • Measurability considering resources and study population

Define the inclusion and exclusion criteria

We help you define the characteristics of participants to include and those that would exclude them, ensuring that the study sample represents the target population of the research question.

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  • Representativeness — will the results apply to a broad population?
  • Feasibility — is there the capacity to recruit and follow patients?
  • Are there any confounding factors, biases, or factors that could obscure the results?
  • Ethical considerations, ensuring that vulnerable populations are not excluded with the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Develop the recruitment plan

Direct Epidemio-Statistics helps you develop a recruitment plan so that the appropriate sample size is achieved. Our contribution to the recruitment plan can lead to:

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  • Review the inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Refine the target population, e.g., patients who received a specific treatment or therapy or are from a certain region
  • Recruit through multiple channels (prescription, social media, advertising, mailings, brochures)
  • Review the targeted number of patients, both initially and enrolled
  • Establish an operational schedule for the recruitment plan

Administer surveys or questionnaires

Given the target population of patients, the survey aims to collect data such as demographics, medical history, lifestyle factors, and, of course, the vital status of former patients.

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  • Design the survey (questions, variables, and measurement instruments)
  • Test the survey (clarity and ease of understanding, internally or through a pilot sample)
  • Determine the mode of delivery (online, mail, in-person)
  • If applicable, obtain approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or participant consent
  • Prepare and send the surveys (printing, mailing, or electronic delivery)
  • Follow up with non-respondents to encourage survey completion
  • Collect and manage data (enter into the database, verify accuracy, ensure data integrity and security)

Searching in medical records

Patient demographic data, medical history, treatment history, laboratory test results, and other information are often relevant or essential in conducting epidemiological studies. Direct Epidemio-Statistics can assist you in extracting this data, which may be found in:

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  • Electronic health records (demographics, history, treatment)
  • Laboratory tests (blood analysis, imaging, other diagnostics)
  • Medical records (paper-based, potentially from other hospitals)
  • Clinical databases (treatment guidelines, clinical trial results, others)

Investigating lost to follow-up cases

Lost to follow-up cases refer to patients with whom there has been no contact for an extended period. Investigating lost to follow-up cases is crucial to ensure data accuracy and completeness, study sample representativeness, and generalizability of study findings to the target population. In this investigation of lost to follow-up cases, Direct Epidemio-Statistics can contribute to:

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  • Identify and account for lost to follow-up cases (by examining records)
  • Attempt to contact them (via phone, email, or mail)
  • Identify possible reasons (nursing home, relocation, history, death)
  • Conduct investigations online, with the last known doctors, laboratories, or other institutions, or with municipalities

Storing the surveys

Surveys received by mail and email need to be organized (filed), verified (through procedures), complete (no losses), physically stored, secured, and ideally backed up (by making a digital copy). If data is lost or compromised, the validity and reliability of the study results may be affected. The different elements of this phase in which Direct Epidemio-Statistics can participate include:

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  • Store data securely to protect confidentiality
  • Organize surveys per patient (with a unique identifier per patient)
  • Backup surveys (to avoid data loss)
  • Check unanswered questions, data entry, validity, accuracy (audit)

Creating and managing a database

A database helps in storing surveys, improves organization, enhances security, and provides flexibility. It organizes data in a structured and efficient manner, making access and analysis easier. It also offers an additional layer of security against unauthorized access or tampering. Creating and managing a database for your patient follow-up can include:

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  • Designing the database structure (types of stored data, relationships)
  • Populating the database (medical records, previous surveys, manual entry)
  • Data entry management (entry standards, quality controls)
  • Data backup (copies on a server, separate storage, cloud)
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RC-FOL Mission

Types of Mission

Start with a first batch of patient follow-up or collaborate over a longer period to make the most of our expert assistance.

  • A batch of patient follow-up
  • Multiple batches of patient follow-up

Frequently Asked Questions

Ask Us

— What are the deliverables?

Depending on the projects, the deliverables include extraction filters, letters and questionnaires (PDF), mailing execution, long-term patient follow-up data collected, or all the survey letters (in paper format).

— What are the timelines?

The estimated duration of the mission is specified in the quote. In general, the mission starts upon order confirmation and ends no later than the date of publication in a scientific journal.

— What are the prerequisites for the mission?

The epidemiological follow-up mission requires the ability to access, store, and manipulate patient data and to act on behalf of the sponsoring institution during surveys.

— What are the rates?

The design and implementation are priced as a flat fee (1,000 to 2,500 EUR excluding taxes). However, the sending, receiving, sorting of follow-ups, and investigating lost to follow-up cases follow a volume-based decreasing rate."

Why Direct Epidemio-Statistics

Preparation, Traceability, and Result.


To understand the challenges and design operational efficiency.


To track the progress of ongoing follow-ups by patient and project.


To achieve the highest response rate while limiting the burden per follow-up.


To have answers to your questions when you need them.

Need information? Do you have a follow-up to conduct?
Then get in touch and explain your needs to us.