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An In-Depth Dive into the Significance of Modern Communication Skills for Health Care Professionals

Written by Natalia Denisova, PhD VP, Head of Medical Affairs MphaR
July 21, 2023

The importance of having exceptional communication skills can never be overemphasized, especially when you talk about the healthcare and pharma industries as you're engaging in developing a strategy for a clinical trial, conversing with KOLs, or are on the advent of creating life-saving drugs. So, as a health care professional or a KOL, you need to ensure that your communication, which by the way, is directly associated with strategy building, should be precise and clear across the board.  

This article is going to focus on the need for effective communication-building that medical professionals require other than just communicating with patients and hospital staff. We're going to talk about some essential capabilities that modern HCPs need to engage with key opinion leaders, understand how to create an approach, as well as knowing how to listen.  

Admittedly, being an effective communicator doesn't come naturally to many, but that is no excuse to neglect it altogether, especially when it comes to augmenting modern health care and creating effective clinical procedures involving industry leaders. You have to understand that in the field of medicine, you can't afford misunderstandings. 

In light of this, mentioned below are some great ways you can build your communication skills as a medical professional or a key opinion leader. So, without further ado, let's dive right in. 

Learn How to Clearly Communicate Your Objectives

When it comes to effective collaboration between HCPs and KOLs, or vice versa, your primary focus should be on first developing a clear and precision-based list of objectives that you're going to discuss. 

As a medical professional, you’re not just going to be talking to patients and delegating to nurses, you're also going to be talking to numerous professionals across the pharmaceutical ecosystem, especially when strategizing and promoting clinical trials and potential treatment plans for different health complications. So, you need to be able to express your objectives and ideas in a transparent manner. You need to inject a high degree of articulation and research for giving and receiving feedback. 

A great way to do this is to ensure that your research is on point both scientifically and commercially. You have to make sure that your talking points are transparent, objective, and clearly understandable. You'll have to create a precision-based and goal-oriented approach in delivering your talking points to generate a sense of authority and trustworthiness.  

So, for example, if you're engaging a KOL or a captain of industry, you need to make sure you communicate the goals and objectives that you've outlined and have prepared to talk about with that individual. Understand that in the field of medicine, communication is all about generating value and must be purposeful. 

Leverage Technology to Enhance Your Communication Skills 

We live in a fast-paced, digital world where there is a dearth of exceptional virtual tools that can be used to facilitate a wide variety of objectives. From providing medical education to practicing adaptation and transferring knowledge, you need to be able to adequately utilize a combination of the right digital resources and tools. 

As the world recovered from the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic, it also saw the emergence and absolute necessity for incorporating cutting-edge virtual platforms for enhanced and reliable communication between stakeholders, medical professionals, and key opinion leaders. The relevance and significance of creating a virtual advisory board or VABP to establish streamlined local and cross-border communication with a varying level of academics, KOLs, social influencers, stakeholders, and leaders of the industry has now become a norm. 

Plus, it has made it easier for medical professionals to communicate their ideas more meticulously and methodologically, allowing HCPs to disseminate knowledge and talk about emerging medical complications and potential challenges. In a sense, you can say that implementing a VAPB strategy has made communications far more simpler and refined. 

Now, let's take a look at how a virtual advisory board can help medical professionals further propel their communications and network building. 

Optimized Engagement

One of the best things about using a virtual advisory platform for communication is the fact that you'll be able to engage top-notch KOLs and thought leaders at the same time, which is going to save time while catering to the requirements of the people involved. 

Plus, you'll be providing each participant with enough opportunities to debate the subject matter for extended periods of time, for instance, 4-5 days, allowing the thought leaders to come back with well-researched and objective feedback and comments. Moreover, this is also going to make it simpler for you to review and discuss relevant documents associated with the talking points over the platform, in real-time. 

Navigation Becomes Simpler

Communicating effectively is all about providing thought leaders the opportunity to engage in a simple and accessible manner. Having discussions over a virtual platform allows both medical professionals and key opinion leaders to engage in recorded sessions instead of having to rely on written content and reviews. Plus, you'll also have the chance to go over necessary documentation in real time.  

Effective Efficiency 

Another reason why communication becomes easier over a virtual platform is that you'll never need to worry about any physical barriers to overcome. It becomes easier for medical professionals and thought leaders to dedicate their time to discussing important matters and presenting detailed scientific research and analysis without having to worry about travel-related hassles and the physical and mental exhaustion that comes with it. It also becomes more effective for doctors who want to communicate with their patients without wasting time and giving the patients their full attention. So, no matter how you look at it, virtual advisory platforms make communication hurdles non-existent. 

It Doesn't Require a Hefty Investment

Incorporating a virtual advisory board can be a pretty cost-effective way to standardize your communications without worrying about any additional operational costs, and is a very sustainable way to minimize logistical expenditures. 

Tilt Towards a Consultative Approach Rather than Achieving Engagement 

Another important thing to consider when it comes to strengthening your communication skills as an HCP is to work on your follow-ups or consultation methods. You see, your objective is to approach thought leaders and KOLs in a meaningful way and to add a degree of permanency and trust. This is why you need to communicate with them on a consultative level, asking them for their expert opinions and ideas rather than just having them on-board to optimize your engagement. 

So, don't shy away from being transparent in your communication, share your opinions and ideas with them, and ask for feedback. Approach them with an open mind and be clear with your goals. Crisp and transparent discussions play an instrumental role in building a long-lasting bridge of communication between medical professionals and captains of industry, which in turn, is very helpful when you talk about propelling product strategy, product development, or generating on-point medical content.  

In addition, practice asking tough yet relevant questions to boost your understanding of modern medical techniques, technology, and practices. It's also going to help you understand patient needs and habits. Plus, it's an effective way to receive and provide valuable feedback, which can lead to the development of enhanced patient therapies. 

Always Follow Up 

Last but not least, make it a point to always follow through with thought leaders after you communicate your feedback. This is where you'll need to consistently keep in touch with the KOLs or stakeholders. Effective communication is all about helping them stay abreast of any frequent updates, and developments, and staying true to any commitments that you've made. For instance, send your audience a summary or a well-drafted thank you note, thanking them for the feedback. You should also communicate the results you've managed to obtain based on their feedback. You need to communicate to build your rapport and trust with them. 

Bottom Line

So there you have it. A comprehensive analysis of how modern medical professionals can boost their communication skills and build a powerful level of trust and loyalty amongst stakeholders and key opinion leaders.

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