The Art and Science of Effective Medical Slides

The best medical education meetings include rock-solid data presented through multiple avenues
Nov 01, 2007

Tammy Prouty
Much has changed in the arena of healthcare education. Whether a presentation is continuing medical education (CME) certified or falls into the realm of noncertified medical education, it faces the demands of today's healthcare market, which has caused practitioners to select only educational opportunities that offer the most value to their individual practices. As practitioners continue their lifelong learning experience, they also seek out opportunities that best fit them as individuals. They look for a variety of delivery methods that engage their individual learning styles. In the face of this change, one aspect has remained a constant: The medical slide kit rests at the foundation of any effective educational presentation.

The medical slide kit represents a well-researched and annotated body of information written by experienced medical writers and designed to present the most current and useful details regarding treatment options to healthcare professionals. Practitioners are most interested in actionable knowledge they can immediately put into practice. They seek to take back to their individual practices specific, detailed treatment options that can be applied to positively affect patient outcomes.

Did You Know?
More than a mere PowerPoint presentation, the medical slide kit must meet the standards of the academic paper or medical symposium. An audience of physicians seeking the latest information on therapeutic options does not accept unsubstantiated, anecdotal evidence. Rather, discerning practitioners respond best to credible, evidence-based presentations.

Therefore, prerequisite to success in today's medical education environment is a slide kit that is patient-focused, includes real-world case studies, and seeks to improve practitioners' management of patients. A duly diligent program that starts with a needs assessment, involves rigorous medical research, and culminates in quality educational presentations must be executed.

Assessment and Development

Did You Know?
The comprehensive process of developing the medical slide kit begins with an assessment of a particular clinical and educational need. Once the need for better treatment in a particular area is identified, educational outcomes are identified and targeted to raise awareness among practicing physicians. The primary focus of the kit is the state of treatment of a particular disease, and the secondary focus is the latest and most effective clinical treatment options.

Only when the specific educational need is identified does the curriculum-development phase commence. At this point, experienced medical affairs writers begin researching annotated medical journal evidence, reviewing treatment guidelines and algorithms, and cataloging treatment-specific data points backed up by clinical trials.

Even though educational content is still in the developmental stage at this point, complex information must be broken down and presented in understandable and consumable components. The target audience may consist of highly trained healthcare professionals, but audience members may not be readily familiar with detailed content or trial data gleaned from outside of their own specialties. Participants must be presented with information that, while understandably technical, is nonetheless accessible and applicable. Care should also be taken to ensure an effective flow of information overall; using storyboarding techniques to create a narrative structure can lead participants through the learning journey.

Once the medical content is drafted, a team of experts vets the material to ensure that the information to be conveyed conforms and complies with current regulatory requirements and industry guidelines. This is a crucial stage of content development that ensures that all data to be presented is both accurate and credible.

Dynamic Information Delivery

At this juncture, the data must be transformed into dynamic presentations that match the expectations and learning styles of the participants. Today's adult learners respond well to interactive presentations that incorporate self-directed branching, varying learning formats, and qualitative learning assessments. The art of transforming scientific data prepared by medical writers, library science specialists, and regulatory experts into compelling presentations requires a variety of disciplines. Creative teams present scientific data through interactive media that engages audiences.

lorem ipsum