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How to make resources easy for doctors to consume

Focus on accessibility, choice of format and interactivity

Online Physician CommunitiesDoctors are bombarded with information via email, medical journals, the internet and discussions with their peers; however, they have very limited time to review it, bearing in mind much of their day is spent with patients.

Consequently, it is not enough to simply provide doctors with the right kind of information. If the data is not provided in the right format, then it may still be discarded.

To ensure that information can be rapidly and easily consumed by doctors, there are a number of rules that should be borne in mind. The first of these is to provide the same information in different formats so that doctors can access it as and when it is convenient for them.

For example, while audio and video media are generally seen as easier to consume, they do require a faster internet connection and a place where doctors can quietly engage with them, hence they may not be suitable for doctors on the move, or working in busy open offices.

Audio and video presentations also take longer to absorb, so backing them up with briefer, text-based resources enables doctors to find critical nuggets of information much faster.

It is also important to deliver the information in a way that puts the doctor in control. So rather than presenting it in a linear fashion, like the pages of a book, it is better to structure it like a well-planned website, where there are multiple routes of access and different ways to navigate the information.

Numerous studies on learning have shown that when people interact and engage with content, rather than merely view it, they absorb it more readily. Pharma can capitalise on this by developing creative content that includes interactive, graphical interfaces or quizzes, or even more sophisticated tools such as gamification.

Finally, with more than 50 per cent of doctors in the UK alone using smartphones to access social media, it is important that content is optimised for use on the go; since even the most compelling and graphical content may fall down if it is not accessible via a variety of mobile devices.

Dr Tim Ringrose is CEO of M3 Europe. For more information on M3, the global provider of technology services in healthcare, and its new European Division which includes www.doctors.net.uk, www.mdlinx.com, and www.networksinhealth.com, please call Tim Ringrose on +44 (0)1235 828400, or email Tim.ringrose@eu.m3.com


3rd April 2014

From: Marketing

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