Successfully Deploying iPads to Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs)
Advances in technology have opened doors for bio-pharmaceutical companies to a gain competitive edge in the competitive healthcare market. Despite this, Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) are still struggling to efficiently utilize iPads & effectively connect healthcare thought leaders and physicians. In order to guarantee that iPads are being properly utilized throughout the pharmaceutical industry, leaders must ensure that MSLs are adequately trained.
The training tactics used play a critical role in shaping the iPad into a successful investment for MSLs to use. 71% of respondent companies in a recent Best Practices, LLC study chose training related activities as one of the top three best practices to ensure success. It is also important to think about who will complete the training, as well as what the training will entail. Our recent study examined these areas and found the following key findings.
- Who Trains MSLs on iPad Usage?: The majority (63%) of training for MSLs is carried out by the IT department in most companies. MSLs are also trained on tablets by other departments such as Leadership & Training (13%), and Medical Affairs (25%).
- What is Covered Under Training Programs?: Multiple components are covered under training programs. Key areas covered include ‘General Functions’, followed by ‘Usage Compliance’, ‘Security’ and ‘Presentation Skills’.
- How Long Does the Training Usually Last?: MSLs receive 2 hours of training in 91% of organizations. Very few (5%) carry out training for a duration of either a half or full day.
- Where does Training Occur?: Most (76%) iPad training is done through distance learning methods. The other most used training formats include: home study (56%) and live in-class training (48%).
Although Medical Affairs functions in pharmaceutical companies are using iPads with their MSLs in very different ways, there are many best practices that leaders can learn from. One of the biggest challenges with training is familiarizing MSLs with the new technology. Despite this, familiarization can be achieved via personal use and more in-class training.