Medical device roll outs can be incredibly fast-paced, but there are also many challenges that come with it. One of these challenges includes educating physicians on medical device procedures. With busy schedules on both sides, it can be difficult to ensure consistent training and the amount of education needed to fully operate a medical device.
Educating physicians is essential to a medical device roll out because they are the primary potential customers. When physicians have a positive experience in the device education process, there is a higher chance that they will continue using it in the operating room and promote it to patients. Through training, education can become a powerful tool to build relationships with surgeons for medical device companies.
As a company that works closely with medical device companies and physicians, we understand the importance of improving physician education. We’ve helped with training events as well as one-on-one physician training by guiding physicians through procedures using new medical devices while collecting data at each step of the way. To help your physician education, we’ve compiled a list of high impact ways to better educate physicians on medical devices and ensure that your medical device roll out will be a success.
1. Use digital technology solutions to provide a more immersing and participatory education for physicians
With the advances in healthcare technology, there’s an abundance of cutting-edge tools to better engage and educate physicians. Through educational digital tools such as images, videos and interactive tools, medical device companies can engage physicians at events through more than one sales representative.
For example, some medical device companies are creating digital versions of medical device training such as our ExplORer platform and virtual reality surgical training platforms to enable faster education of physicians on new medical devices. By integrating technology into training programs, medical device companies can provide a more efficient, modern way to educate physicians that will be sure to make an impact.
2. Provide access to the curriculum for physicians to review before, during and after training sessions
Just like an agenda or user’s manual, a guide to the planned curriculum can help both physicians and sales reps during training and education events for new medical device rollouts. Structure can better prepare physicians for the event and helps them to remember the content after the event as well. A 2015 study found that when students wrote down goals and structured their education, they accomplished significantly more than those who did not.
Sales reps can also use guides to have a clear understanding of how to utilize the time they are given and ensure that they are able to communicate all the information physicians will need to use the new medical device.
3. Host regular training sessions to keep up with new features and techniques
Continuing education on medical devices is important for physicians to stay up-to-date on the latest modifications, techniques and features and best utilize the device in clinical practice. For new medical devices, more frequent training and education sessions may be more accommodating to physicians and a better utilization of time for sales representatives as well. Finding time for additional training for particular features can be difficult while short information sessions can deliver content quickly and directly while being educational.
For medical devices that have already been out on the market, physicians can be trained on new modifications or features of a medical device through short education sessions without having to go through long processes. There are also many opportunities to do this digitally, such as through educational videos developed by medical device companies.
4. Use visual aids to help guide the training process
When physicians are able to clearly see and understand the function of each part of a new medical device, they can more easily identify any problems that they may face while using the device in clinical practice.
One study found that 83 percent of what is learned in education is from sight, and 50 percent of what is remembered comes from hearing and seeing. The use of visual training aids such as photographs, videos or interactive software can help physicians better visualize how the new medical device is used and can guide them through a visible step-by-step process.
5. Focus on the most difficult steps or components of specific medical device procedures
Bringing attention to the steps or components of the new medical device while training physicians can help to mitigate any problems that physicians may have while using the device in clinical practice. By taking extra time or providing more educational content around difficult steps or components of a procedure, medical device companies can provide better support and assurance at training events for future physician use of the device.
Focusing on the most difficult steps can also help physicians have a better understanding of what problems they may run into and prepare questions ahead of time while they have access to sales representatives at a training event. Understanding the steps where physicians may run into difficulties comes through the collection of data, something ExplORer Surgical’s app can help with at training events and during live procedures.
7. Collect feedback from training events to continuously improve the education process
Being able to listen and adapt to physicians can help to increase the effectiveness of the experience for physicians and sales representatives. By collecting feedback from physicians at training events, sales representatives can better communicate information about new medical devices in ways that are most helpful to physicians at future events. Feedback from physicians can also help to develop better educational content for new medical devices.
8. Develop a way to assess physicians and sales reps to demonstrate competency
Having opportunities to perform, receive feedback and reflect is incredibly important for physicians and sales representatives during a new medical device rollout. Developing an assessment that requires physicians and sales representatives to demonstrate competency can help medical device companies ensure that they are qualified to safely operate the device. It also gives medical device companies the chance to pinpoint areas of concern or inefficiency and find solutions quickly. By identifying these areas, companies can develop more educational content around difficult steps and enable sales reps to be more attuned during specific steps of procedures in the field.
Keeping track of initial physician assessments can also be used to demonstrate gains in knowledge and competence in later assessments, and an in-depth education for physicians can increase loyalty to new medical devices as well.
How ExplOrer Surgical can enhance physician training
Improving physician education on new medical devices is important and finding ways to make your training events more impactful can go a long way. ExplOrer Surgical can provide a digital guide to lead physicians and their teams through complex procedures during training events while gathering the data necessary to understand the use of the medical device. Through ExplORer, medical device companies can ensure physician understanding of training materials and success in the operating room.
This post was written by Sarah Han. Sarah is a content and digital marketing intern at ExplORer Surgical and a student at Northwestern University where she studies journalism, history and integrated marketing communications.