Each year, the medical industry uncovers exciting new data that can help in the fight against cancer. However, this information isn’t always distributed effectively. Yet stakeholders desperately need access to the latest clinical data. If they aren’t able to locate these data, patients may not benefit from the new insights.
Information gaps have a tremendous effect both on medical providers and patients. Without up-to-date information about new clinical trials, oncologists may not be able to make optimal treatment decisions. Their patients may be unable to fully advocate for themselves if they don’t have access to data that support their treatment preferences.
Pharmaceutical companies must ensure relevant clinical data are accessible both to laypeople and healthcare providers. When each staff member at a pharmaceutical company has access to the same data, clients and patients receive consistent responses. Once everyone is equipped with accurate data, patient treatment can benefit. To effectively distribute clinical data, consider the following strategies:
Maintain a Professional, Up-to-Date Internet Presence
In the 21st century, having a strong internet presence is not optional. Most laypeople are suspicious of organizations without a website. At best, these organizations may be seen as unprofessional. At worst, they may seem risky or even dishonest. An established organization must have a professionally-managed website.
However, the expectations for healthcare providers and patients don’t end there. Website visitors also expect up-to-date social media accounts. Pharmaceutical companies who fail to meet these expectations are also missing out on opportunities to share essential data.
This type of outreach and marketing is easier in some regions than others. Pharmaceutical companies in the US can reach out directly to patients, providing clinical data and information about newly approved treatments. This may not be possible in Europe and Canada. But even in countries where companies are not permitted to contact patients directly, a high-quality Web presence can help organizations stay in the public eye.
Websites should at minimum include mission statements and descriptions of the company’s various departments, and might also include general information about how clinical studies are performed. A company website is also an excellent place to feature photos of key clinical staff. This builds interest and trust in the organization. Healthcare providers may then feel inclined to reach out to these companies, and find ways to access their clinical data.
Invest in Social Media
Social media is invaluable for quickly distributing information. There’s no question that both healthcare providers and laypeople are eager to learn about the latest medical advances. However, locating reliable studies and useful case reports can be a challenge.
Leveraging a company’s social media accounts allows US companies to distribute clinical data as soon as they are available. Since many people check their social media a dozen times a day, life science organizations serving the US have countless opportunities to get their message in front of a curious audience.
A social media manager can also help develop a targeted strategy to build an audience and tailor a message to meet its needs. As with all forms of outreach and marketing, consistency is vital. Delivering a steady stream of content helps life science organizations establish themselves as an active, trustworthy source of information.
Launch a Blog
While social media can be an excellent tool for sharing information quickly, it doesn’t always allow for long-form content. Merely tweeting a link to a new medical study may not be enough to get the message across. This is where blogs come in.
A blog can be the ideal place to dig deeper into the implications of new clinical data. Blog posts provide space to review recent studies, discuss the results, and offer practical tips to clinicians looking to apply these data.
In Europe and Canada, where restrictions on clinical data may apply, companies can still use their blog to reach out to medical providers. Password-protected Web spaces help ensure that essential information is available to clinicians, while avoiding direct communication with patients. Trusted healthcare providers then have the information they need to start conversations with their patients.
When developing a blogging strategy, it’s essential to keep readability in mind. Reaching out to healthcare providers may be a priority, but many laypeople are also interested in learning about new clinical data. These individuals can help carry important messages to a broader community. Companies targeting US audiences must make sure to deliver blog content that can be easily understood by patients and their families.
Cite Sources on Informational Materials
Unfortunately, the internet isn’t always a source of reliable information. Social media and blogs are often used to spread myths and false data. Pharmaceutical companies can fight this trend by citing sources in their social media and blog posts. Diligent citation sends a strong impression to viewers. Educated viewers learn to see these organizations as a source of high-quality information.
Citing sources on printed information, such as brochures and pamphlets, can also be a valuable marketing tool. Many pharmaceutical companies in the US make bold claims on their marketing or promotional materials, and patients may rightfully be skeptical. Providing the right citations proves to viewers the latest research supports these claims. Leveraging printed materials as a means of distribution also helps companies reach individuals who don’t spend much time online.
Outsource Writing, Blogging, or Social Media
Many pharmaceutical companies put off setting up their social media accounts. Others start a blog but seldom update it. Inconsistent posting can keep an organization from gaining readers and followers. However, many organizations struggle to find time for these initiatives.
Using a content-writing service or social media management company allows organizations to outsource these tasks. These companies provide expert blogging and social media services, which takes the pressure off full-time employees within a pharmaceutical company. Hiring outside workers also helps bring fresh ideas and approaches. Professional writers or bloggers can then work with pharmaceutical companies to gather and redistribute exciting new information.
For organizations in Europe and Canada, it may be helpful to hire an organization that specializes in medical marketing within these regions. While many US-based organizations provide skilled writing or social media services, they might be unaware of regional restrictions that limit marketing or outreach efforts. A European-based company can provide added expertise.
Test Online Forums
Years ago, clinicians gained most of their information from medical textbooks and in-person conferences. Today, the internet is the average clinicians’ primary source of new medical knowledge. Many clinicians think nothing of pulling out their phone and performing an on-the-spot Web search while seeing a patient. Pharmaceutical companies must consistently find ways to connect with healthcare providers using technology.
Online forums are a popular tool for finding groups of people with similar interests. After a cancer diagnosis, patients often gravitate toward forums designed for individuals living with cancer. In turn, oncologists are always on the hunt for a way to connect with colleagues remotely. Forums for clinicians to discuss research and treatment strategies are often appealing to these providers.
Community Access Scientific Exchange Series by Aptitude Health, also known as CASES, helps meet the demand for high-quality forums. CASES provides a valuable tool both for oncologists and pharmaceutical companies to share essential data.
CASES by Aptitude Health
Today’s oncologists have limited time for attending conferences or in-person meetings. CASES allows these providers to fit meaningful discussions into a tight schedule. The discussion board lets clinicians share information with their colleagues. Participants can share their thoughts in a secure environment filled with people they can trust.
Pharmaceutical companies can also use CASES to bridge the gap between their industry, and community oncologists. With CASES, organizations can highlight current research, gather information about regional trends, and better understand what factors drive treatment decisions.
Armed with this information, companies can work with oncologists and other stakeholders helping to defeat cancer.