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Els Blog Awards

Showcasing CME as a vital piece of the healthcare communications pie

Posted by Elsbeth Headley

Earlier this month, Springer Healthcare IME were excited to attend the industry’s premier awards ceremony – the Communique Awards 2021 – held at the rather glamorous Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane. Our Cardiovascular Health and Type 2 Diabetes programme (developed in collaboration with MedShr) had been shortlisted as a Finalist in the Excellence in Professional Education Programmes category. “Our entry demonstrated how we combine our rich heritage in publishing with a commitment to develop IME programs with clinical relevance, as we did here with an innovative case-led microlearning format that we felt went right to the heart of HCP needs. And we did so at scale – with over 40,000 HCPs taking part in the education.

But what was noticeable – not just at these year’s awards, but also at several others I have attended over the years – was the low number of IME/CME programmes represented by the companies attending and the lucky finalists. There are several factors contributing to this, of course, with one of the most obvious being that there are fewer categories suitable for CME providers compared with more traditional MedComms and PR agencies. Further, the entry fees can be pricy and an evening out with Pharma clients is not an option for those used to working at arms’ length from Pharma.

However, when we look at the spectrum of healthcare communications as a whole, it is clear that each part plays its own important role in the lifecycle of any new medical treatment. CME and IME are vital in raising disease awareness, thereby creating noise and anticipation around improvements in patient care that may result from emerging treatments. Improving early diagnosis, increasing adherence, ensuring adoption of best-practice guidelines – these are all hugely worthy and achievable outcomes of any well-designed CME program.

And we shouldn’t be afraid of acknowledging that, at the other end of the communications spectrum, agencies are working hard to promote brands and deliver impactful PR campaigns on behalf of their clients.

Because each piece of the pie is important, and none more so that the CME piece. So I’d like to see more IME/CME companies feel part of events such as the Communique Awards, submit entries, and show just what we can achieve in terms of patient care.

Back to the awards and, although we did not win on this occasion, it was a chance to dust down our black-tie outfits after a long lockdown (and attempt to fit in them again!), have a fun night out, and feel good about being part of an evening that showcased some incredible programs and people. As Professor Jonathan Van-Tam (Deputy Chief Medical Officer) said after receiving his Healthcare Communications Advocate award, there’s a lot to be proud of in our industry.

Image: IME team members (from L-R) Elsbeth Headley, Toby Borger, James Hutton and Rebecca Cox at this year’s Communique 2021 Awards.