Your product’s new indication is approved and could be in the hands of doctors at this very minute – but where are your sales reps? Still waiting for the training materials that are hung up in the review processes! Sound familiar? Don’t fret. Here are 4 practices to speed up review and get your reps into the field faster, while still producing training materials that meet or exceed your expectations without straining your budget.
1. Review the SOW and design doc/outline carefully
While it can be difficult to picture the end result based on an outline, don’t wait for the first draft for a careful review. Be sure you have a clear picture of what you want, and ask yourself:
- Are all key elements included in the order that I prefer?
- Do I like how the information is split between modules within the learning system?
- Are there any specific facts or data that I want to add or highlight
Let the agency know of any unusual requests at this stage (i.e. no drug names, no case studies, no textbooks for references). Perhaps most importantly, have all possible reviewers in agreement on an outline before review process begins. When you get the first draft, have all reviewers read it! You don’t want to go through 2 rounds of revision only to have a new reviewer look at it and decide to restructure the entire curriculum.
2. Remember the big picture
When reviewing the draft, make sure you keep it within the context of the entire training curriculum. Resist adding background information to elaborate on a topic that is covered in depth in another module. Chances are you’ll be asking us to remove it during the next round, or it will create a domino effect of changes to the curriculum.
3. Be specific
You may have an idea during a review but want to consult with your colleagues before deciding on a change to the module. If this happens, best not to start this conversation by posing a comment as a question or suggestion. Call, send an email, or catch the other reviewer in the hallway instead. When the agency gets a comment that begins “Should we …?” or “Do we want to…?” the medical writer ends up in a guessing game. We want to make your deliverable perfect, but we can’t read your mind.
4. Provide references for new information, especially when requesting specific facts and statistics
One of the most time-consuming parts of putting together a deliverable is finding appropriate references. If you request the addition of a specific fact or statistic, it could take a writer a couple of hours (or more!) to hunt down a reference, when you might know of one off the top of your head. Ask your colleagues if you can’t find one – this will also ensure you only insert true and accurate information.
Try putting these tips into practice: you’ll get fewer questions, fewer rounds of review, faster delivery times, and more time to spend on training.