Do you have a burning question for someone in the grantor space, or are you in need of an answer to a frequently asked, grant-related question? The Almanac is excited to share part 2 of the new series, “Ask the Grantor.” This new series, created by and for Alliance members, offers a place where these questions can be answered for all to see. Because grantors' policies and procedures differ, we have asked multiple Alliance members from the Industry Alliance for CE section (IACE) to weigh in on the questions. Both questions and answers will remain anonymous. Before you read on, check out part 1 of the series here.
Question: What do you do when you face pushback on independent medical education (IME) funding from leadership who do not fully understand the value of IME and its impact on HCP/patient outcomes?
I suspect that this is a problem facing many grantors; it’s certainly true in my organization.
One of the first things we did, after going to our chief medical officer for an intervention, was put a member of the finance organization on our grant committee in a non-voting role. It may be that your finance team doesn’t understand the grant process and needs an “inside view.” Our organization deals entirely in unsolicited grants, so finance needed to get a picture of why we couldn’t give them “increased granularity” on what we would be supporting in the coming year.
Another thing that helps is providing outcomes data to leadership. We opt to include high-level, Tier 1 meeting outcomes for activities that we’ve supported rather than overwhelming folks with a data dump that includes resident education, state medical societies and everything else we support.
Finally, I lean into the 2017 CME Value Survey, conducted by the Global Education Group. They surveyed physicians across all specialties to get their thoughts on continuing education. One of the key findings is that the most likely method of changing physician behavior, which ultimately improves patient outcomes, is independent medical education. By contrast, the least likely method is a sales/marketing commercial presentation.
As members of the grants team, part of our role is to educate leadership on the importance of IME and QI support and connect the dots between those programs, their impact on patient outcomes and the value it brings to our organization. One of the primary ways we do this is by sharing the outcomes stories from the programs we support. Simple, high level, one-page/slide executive summaries of outcomes metrics are an invaluable tool for the grant team to share with leadership and something to keep in mind when developing an outcomes report. Providing pages and pages of raw evaluation data or participant comments is not particularly helpful if it is not also accompanied by some form of an overall summary.
Look forward to the next installment of “Ask the Grantor,” coming soon. Did this article spark a grant-related question for you? Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org, and it will be submitted to the Alliance volunteers for their consideration to be answered in an upcoming article.