This session during the Healthcare Communications Association Conference 2011 “Staying one step ahead’ was run as an interview with Dr Graeme Moyle, Director of HIV Research Strategy at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London. He helped the audience (including me) to understand that to most doctors, all communications from a pharmaceutical company are seen as the same in their eyes, and are not obviously split into education (non-promotional) vs. promotion. He told us that physicians still find case-based education useful, want face-to-face peer discussions, and ongoing relationships with those educating them. Like us all, they need reminding several times of key information before they really learn the facts and use them in discussions themselves. Dr Moyle also mentioned the need to be able to communicate across specialisms as a key educational gap for physicians.
The workshop group and the following discussion on twitter concluded that medical education should:
- address an actual educational gap, and not reinvent the wheel
- define and refine clinical practice
- be ongoing, have varied formats, and be cross-speciality
- revisit a message regularly and consistently across channels
- address the different learning styles of the audience
- be field-tested and use tools to better measure quality and outcomes
Here at WCG we believe in integrated communications and apply the ‘pre-commerce’ model of evaluating outcomes not just outputs across all our activities for clients, including medical communications. We believe that educational outcomes can be measured as further message dissemination as this demonstrates ongoing assessment of data and individual ambassadorship. We also feel that digital technology enables personalization of learning to different learning styles and assessment of quality and outcomes. Our ‘education through interaction’ approach also leverages clients’ cross-functional data and insights, and focuses on doctor-patient interaction and interaction between healthcare professional roles (e.g. nurses and GPs; primary and secondary care professionals; different specialisms).