International Nursing Group for Immunodeficiencies (INGID)
INGID, the International Nursing Group for Immunodeficiencies, is an international nursing society with members in Europe, Africa, Australia and America. This encompasses a large practice area, with different cultures, different traditions, and also different time zones and languages. In the past years, INGID recognised that healthcare professionals (more specifically nurses) who treat patients with immunoglobulin therapy often lack the knowledge of the different methods for administration of IgG therapy.
As a relatively small medical association, INGID has limited internal resources to organise accredited live courses for a global audience.
We have a huge variety of experience within our membership. We have some members who are highly experienced, but then we also have nurses who are beginners – those who are new to the area. So people do not necessarily have access to the same support or information that maybe colleagues in the bigger centres have. Being able to offer a course like this helps us to provide support to our nurses working in different settings and in different countries.
A needs assessment was performed together with the scientific committee of INGID to find out exactly what kind of knowledge is lacking amongst healthcare professionals who treat patients with immunoglobulin therapy. Based on these findings, a clear course curriculum was developed and proposed to the INGID scientific committee, after which content development started.
When developing the CME course, it was important to start with the end in mind. This means that topics such as accreditation, delivery formats, budget, and planning had to be taken into account from the beginning. It was clear early on in the project that an eLearning course would be the most suitable format for INGID, since they had to reach an international audience. It was also clear that the organisation lacked the resources to organise multiple live international courses.
Online learning, or eLearning, offers a number of advantages for organisations such as INGID looking to provide continues medical education, none bigger than the ability to offer medical education anywhere, anytime. It means no matter if your participants are scattered all over the world and in different time zones, they can still access the same course materials, and at a time that’s convenient to them.
Once the course content was developed, Medicalwriters.com assisted INGID in getting the final approval of ICN for course accreditation. The project team reached out to the International Nursing Council (ICN) based in Geneva, Switzerland, to request accreditation. Accreditation is a major factor for any continuing medical education course and adds value for nurses and other healthcare professionals to take the course.
"I think it is fantastic that people can take the course when it suits them, and that they don’t have to go to a particular location. And having the accreditation from the ICN is a great advantage as well. Most nurses around the world know of the ICN. Carrying an accreditation gives it an extra weight and acceptability. There are so many courses online, and all with different learning materials, so trying to identify what is good or not can really take time. To have this accreditation from the ICN therefore really helped communicate the seriousness of the course we were offering."
The accredited eLearning course was launched in December 2014. In the meanwhile, many participants have succeeded in passing the final exam and have received their ICN accreditation certificate. Delivering accredited Continuing Medical Education through eLearning is clearly the way forward, due to its flexibility, cost-efficiency and the freedom it offers to course participants.
An often underestimated part of successful online CME activities is the promotion of a course and a drive for participation. After all, a great course is wasted if there are no participants. Utilising the in-house marketing communications team, Medicalwriters.com helped INGID develop a multi-channel promotional campaign aimed at new and existing INGID members. Activities included the distribution of an information pack at the 2014 European Society of Immunodeficiencies (ESID) conference in Prague, an international press release and an online campaign that featured on INGID email newsletters and its website.
"We found Medicalwriters.com very responsive to our needs, very adaptable and also, when we had questions or delays, we felt that nothing was a big problem. This was great for us, and made it much easier to realise such a complex project.
This eLearning module is new for INGID, and this is our first effort in setting this up. As a result of doing it with Medicalwriters.com, and the feedback we have got from our members, we would be looking forward to publish more medical education eLearning courses in the future."