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| Written by Veronica Ferguson

Myth vs. Reality: HCP and Clinical Meetings

HCP stands for Healthcare Personnel or Professionals, encompassing professionals who play crucial roles in the healthcare industry.

When it comes to HCP and clinical meetings, balancing the needs of the customer while remaining compliant with global regulations is no easy task. Planning meetings for healthcare professionals (HCPs) requires a unique skillset thanks to the ever-changing rules and restrictions that vary by country, organization, and meeting type.

Luckily, our HMCC-certified team has been leading the medical meeting industry for more than 20 years. They have the experience and the expertise to properly execute HCP meetings of all types and sizes while staying compliant every step of the way.

In the fourth installment of our Myth vs. Reality blog series, learn the truth behind common HCP myths from three of our in-house experts: Paquita McCray, HMCC, Customer Success Manager; Pat Schaumann, CMP, CSEP, DMCP, HMCC, Principal Consultant, Life Sciences; and Samantha Steinkeler, CMP-HC, HMCC, Customer Success Director.

In Case You Missed It – Myth vs. Reality: Event Technology

Myth: There is no creativity with planning HCP Investigator Meetings because there are so many compliance and country regulations aligned to them.

Reality: There are many ways to be creative and engaging while still remaining compliant.

A physician’s time away from their practice is valuable. Therefore, it’s important to keep their attention at Investigator Meetings in an engaging and memorable way. Although the main goal of Investigator Meetings is to discuss the science and train HCPs to participate in clinical drug trials, there are areas where you can put your creative stamp without jeopardizing compliance and country regulations. Here are a few ideas you can incorporate at your next meeting:

  • Build up excitement before the meeting by creating a mobile app where HCPs can stay engaged with team building gamification that is tied to a local charity.   
  • At the meeting, host a game show with content related to clinical trial studies. Games can be inspired by Family Feud, Jeopardy, or Wheel of Fortune, for example. Divide the attendees into groups so the winners get bragging rights!
  • HCPs want to connect with other HCPs. Therefore, incorporate networking opportunities like themed happy hours, receptions, or “meet the speaker” functions.
  • Provide iPads to each of the attendees during the meeting so they can see the slides up close, read presenter bios, submit questions, answer polls, and email themselves notes or slides. The iPads are then returned at the conclusion of the meeting.
  • Incorporate different learning styles into the presentations such as videos, images, demonstrations, interactive content, and engaging speakers.

Myth: Compliance regulations never change and are easy to keep track of.

Reality: Regulations can change at any time and without notice.

Global healthcare laws and regulations can change weekly. In 2014, when the US Open Payments law was enacted, there were about 10 countries that had some type of healthcare rules in place. Today, there are 89 countries that have enforceable guidelines, and while compliance guidelines are well defined by governments, no two countries or organizations have the same processes. It is imperative to stay current with updates and changes around the world.

At M&IW, we are creating a Medical Meeting Resource Center that posts any new announcements or changes to healthcare governmental regulations or guidelines to help our customers and our team find the latest rules and regulations in one central location.

Myth: Planning Advisory Board Meetings for HCPs must be simple since they are typically so small; it should only take a week or so.

Reality: They are small, but they carry a big punch! Ideally, you should allow at least eight weeks to plan an Ad Board Meeting.

Eight weeks’ lead time is ideal for Ad Board Meetings, although even longer is needed if international HCPs are attending. So much goes into the meeting before we can even begin the logistics! HCP contracts must be fully executed, and essential compliance rules and regulations must be confirmed. You must then source an approved hotel within the limits and ratings of the HCP’s home countries while ensuring all HCPs can arrive within their country’s parameters. You must confirm all food and beverage minimums adhere to the compliance specifications, which can sometimes be a very low amount. Always be aware that even one extra HCP added to the meeting list can uproot your planning if the hotel and F&B have to be readjusted.

The third-party vendor is responsible for monitoring all transfers of value, meaning an HCP can’t receive anything from the host client with the exception of the approved F&B, transportation, and one night’s stay at the hotel (if permitted). A/V can only include basic needs, and no décor is permitted in the room. Finally, be sure all invoices are ticked and tied onsite as reporting must occur immediately after the program has been completed. Sounds like a walk in the park, right?


Headshot of Paquita McCray

Paquita McCray, HMCC

Customer Success Manager

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.

Headshot of Pat Schaumann

Pat Schaumann, CMP, CSEP, DMCP, HMCC

Principal Consultant, Life Sciences

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.

Headshot of Samantha Steinkeler

Samantha Steinkeler, CMP-HC, HMCC

Customer Success Director

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.

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