The Spring session of CMEpalooza featured two full days of live programming designed for the continuing medical education community. This year, PlatformQ Health (PQH) sent two delegates to the session titled Including Patients and Patient Advocacy Groups in Educational Planning & Delivery: How to Make It a “Win-Win”. Senior VP of Education, Kathryn Pucci, acted as moderator for the panel, and   panelist Christian Rubio, VP of Marketing, shared some best practices for collaborating with patients and advocacy organizations. Rubio was joined on the panel by Sarah Krüg, Executive Director of Cancer101, and Allen Doederlein, Executive Vice President of External Affairs at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), a PlatformQ Health partner.

Pucci kicked off the CMEpalooza presentation by outlining the goals of the session. The panel was assembled to speak towards the increasing inclusion of patients and patient advocacy groups in HCP-oriented continuing medical education, and the burgeoning field of patient directed educational activities. Each panelist brought unique insights and real-world cases to shed light on this promising development in CME.

Krüg shared details about the impact of Cancer101’s program Prescription To Learn® – a dashboard of educational resources that clinicians can provide to patients so they can easily access multiple types of information, on several forms of cancer, at different points in the patient journey. By facilitating this information exchange, Prescription To Learn® was linked to real improvement in understanding, participation with care teams, and comfort asking questions. Krüg wrapped up her presentation with an important takeaway: trend is not always your friend. While including patients in education is an increasingly popular concept, merely adding a patient into the mix without a carefully curated plan is not likely to be effective. The specific ways in which patients are incorporated into strategy needs to be structured appropriately: well-articulated goals for new initiatives help to define the patient’s role and ultimately lead to stronger results.

Doederlein articulated the potential of tapping into patient advocacy organizations by sharing an overview of the 2012 Concordance educational program that DBSA designed. The program aimed to empower people with mood disorders to expect and advocate for wellness as the end goal of treatment, and to transform provider practice to include collaborative, measurement-based care. The core elements that made the program a success included diverse and aligned partners, early and truly mutual collaboration, and multiple streams of engagement. For the provider, the Concordance program resulted in better communication between patients and providers, and access to thought leaders with strong ties to patient communities as well as their clinical/research peers. As an organization, DBSA benefited by being able to provide their constituents with meaningful new content that delivers on their mission, extension of reach and improvements to the organization’s brand profile, and deeper relationships with providers.

Rubio rounded out the presentation by explaining how PQH works with advocacy organizations. Core to our philosophy are meaningful relationships with advocacy groups in the therapeutic areas of our programming. By elevating and amplifying an advocacy group’s mission and resources through a platform, we’re able to delivered engaging content to the right person at scale – whether educating clinicians, patients or caregivers. We were so glad to be able to share our perspective at CMEpalooza, and more on our CME programs and how we work with advocacy partners can be found here.