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Making the patient voice heard

February 27, 2023

The SES team recently attended the European CME Forum, we heard from representatives of global grants departments who wanted to see more educational programs that incorporate the patient voice. It was fantastic to see their requests marrying up with the approach we have at SES. Incorporating the patient voice has always been of the upmost importance to us and is integral to our vision: for every treatment team and researcher in the therapy areas we work in to have instant access to accurate, evidence-based information and expert opinions to aid in treatment decisions and improve patient lives globally.  

SES have been delivering patient awareness campaigns and educational programs since 2017; our patient programs reach 102 patient advocacy groups globally and over 190 countries. Our healthcare professional hubs have been running since 2014 and reach over 200,000 HCPs. As an agency with extensive experience in education for both audiences, we realize we are uniquely placed to join the dots and ensure patient needs inform our HCP education, which arms us to make a difference in the real world. 

We wanted to take the opportunity to explain why incorporating the patient voice is so important to us and the steps we take to ensure we achieve this

Why is the patient voice important?  

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) highlights several benefits of incorporating the patient voice in continuing medical education1:  

  • Identifying clinician, team, and system gaps 
  • Ensuring medical education meets the real-world needs of clinical practice and represents the diversity of voices in the community 
  • Empowering patients 
  • Building high-functioning teams that can influence healthcare provision  

Evidence suggests that the inclusion of patient representatives in medical education improves HCP proficiency and, ultimately, patient outcomes.2 

How do we incorporate the patient voice?  

We have several methods to ensure the patient voice is incorporated into our HCP education.  

  • Establishing patient needs’: We begin the journey by involving patients in our needs assessment to discover the gaps in patient care where HCP’s can improve. we conduct interviews and surveys with patients to establish which areas they see as gaps in HCP knowledge and practice, improvements in these areas could ultimately improve patient care.  
  • Patients as partners: We invite patients to join our expert steering committees, allowing us to continually monitor their needs and our progress in improving them, as well as harness their opinion on key pieces of educational content.  
  • Evaluating patient outcomes: It is incredibly tricky to evaluate patient outcomes resulting from HCP education as it is hard to pinpoint which intervention made a difference to the patient. However, this is something we are looking to do at SES, by asking how HCPs plan to change their patient care as a result of our education and conducting follow-up studies to see whether or not our education truly made a difference. Through our patient society partnerships, we hope to navigate this field further and make improvements through the inclusion of patient-reported outcomes.

How you can support us in our mission to further incorporate the patient voice into our hubs? 

SES is launching HCP–PAG collaboratives for our Multiple Myeloma, MPN, and GvHD Hubs; we are looking for support from the pharmaceutical industry to found these programs. he HCP–PAG collaboratives will allow hub steering committee members and existing PAG leaders to align strategically on plans/activities and decide on appropriate content for the hubs and additional global activities for the patient communities. The HCP–PAG collaborative will improve PAG–specialist working relationships as equal partners and focus on the needs of patients, their families, and their carers. This collaborative will bridge the gap to quality care while meeting the expectations of patients to provide the highest standard of medical education on an established world-renowned platform, ultimately improving patient outcomes.  

If you are interested in becoming a founding supporter of our HCP–PAG collaborative initiatives, please get in touch at 

1. ACCME. Message from the ACCME president and CEO engaging patients in CME. Published Aug 14, 2017. Accessed Nov 2, 2022. 

2. RMEI. Poster: When the patient voice is heard in education, does the clinician listen? Presented at: Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME); May 7-8, 2020; Virtual. 

Mia Hill

Acting Managing Director 

Scientific Education Support 

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