Our staff of writers develop programs that conform to the principles of adult learning. In order to create new learnings or knowledge, we construct materials that leverage our audience’s base of knowledge and experiences, allowing time for reflection to make judgments and modify their current beliefs. This often occurs by challenging those beliefs with new data communicated over multiple media in sequenced fashion over an appropriate time period. Our role becomes one of a facilitator, guiding the participant through the process rather than injecting our beliefs. By following these steps we create tighter bonds with the participant and a greater affinity to change. To this end we have extensive experience developing materials focused on clinical, economic, and humanistic aspects of care and ranged from simple visual aids to more elaborate interactive software. Regardless of the vehicle we create, we follow an extensive process to develop appropriate materials that meet our clients’ needs and resonate with end users
A sampling of materials that we have produced include modular slide kits with speaker notes, scientific posters, white papers, coverage and reimbursement information, coding information, program and brand announcements, formulary kits, value proposition presentations, frequently asked questions, objection handlers, benchmarking data, patient materials to support hub systems, case studies, profilers to support variance between Medicare Part B and D, and materials to support branded initiatives.
DEVELOPING PROMOTIONAL EDUCATION NEEDS
In order to determine the educational needs for promotional programming we utilize a variety of resources. These include primary and secondary market research, an examination of published literature on current treatments, medical therapy management and epidemiologic data that highlights the consistency and potential outcomes of various medical approaches, approved and experimental treatment algorithms/guidelines, and expert opinion.
To start the process, our staff reviews and interviews current prescribers and affiliated medical health professionals to discover key issues and drivers linked to the management of a disease. This is critical to the further development of the educational activity because it provides a thorough assessment from the clinicians’ point of view. To further this process we conduct subsequent interviews with key environmental opinion leaders to gain an overall perspective of the various treatment approaches used. By combining the findings we start to uncover knowledge gaps that can affect optimal patient care. This process ties into adult learning principles that demonstrate that learners “construct” their knowledge based on what they currently know. Pre-existing knowledge and experience is important, both as the basis for construction of new knowledge and as a resource for future learning. This early assessment also helps us gauge the level of willingness to accept new learnings, the internal/external motivators that will drive learning, and various learning styles – global or analytical.
Once we map the current issues and associated learning gaps we conduct a publication audit of published literature and unpublished data supplied by the various pharmaceutical and biotech companies we represent. We gather this information to create a data warehouse that links potential brand attributes and messages to the current educational needs. This solidifies our previous findings and establishes a data set that allows us to readily find key information that can be utilized in the educational activity.
Once our internal team has finalized the dataset we begin to formulate a variety of educational approaches that can lead to the desired outcome. The type of program, audience criteria, delivery media, content, sequencing, and frequency are discussed to ensure the program’s objectives. Often multiple approaches are used to create behavioral changes since clinicians vary on their knowledge, clinical skills, motivators, and learning styles. These concepts and potential programs are discussed with our clients for final approval.
Our staff instructional designers develop programs that conform to the principles of adult learning. In order to create new learnings or knowledge, we construct materials that leverage our audience’s base of knowledge and experiences, allowing time for reflection to make judgments and modify their current beliefs. This often occurs by challenging those beliefs with new data communicated over multiple media in sequenced fashion over an appropriate time period. Our role becomes one of a facilitator, guiding the participant through the process rather than injecting our beliefs. By following these steps we create tighter bonds with the participant and a greater affinity to change.
Additionally we attempt to develop our programs to capitalize on these new learnings so the participants can apply the new information in a practical setting. This ensures future behavioral uptake. Regardless of what our approach is we must ensure that we understand and give a reason for the participant to learn about a new agent or process. We must also allow them to learn at their own pace, therefore we offer a variety of media and tools at various levels to engage both analytical and global learners.
Once we have an activity map that is set for a variety of learners we begin to formulate the curricula for the educational initiatives. The curriculum is based on the Knowledge, Skills, and associated Behavior we are seeking to achieve. A faculty Steering Committee is formed based on their expertise within their related fields. This committee along with our client approves the final curricula and content. Throughout the process these faculty members are challenged to develop compelling content that resonates with the targeted audiences. To this extent we often segment content by the level of understanding or channel we are addressing. This ensures that the proper messages are conveyed to each group we target along for the further “construction” of knowledge by each of our participants.
After we “construct” and communicate the various educational initiatives we monitor their performance utilizing post-program surveys, primary market research, and changes toward appropriate prescribing. This continual improvement process furthers our ability to match the educational needs of the audience and to change the various aspects of treatment.