I founded The BioContinuum Group in 1993 after 15 years in healthcare advertising, communications, and medical education. In 1993 the vision was clear, identify communications and educational strategies and match them to tactical programs that change behavior and improve patient care. And it remains in place today, what has changed are the elements that drive this new and dynamic market place.
- Adult learning theory improves knowledge and changes behavior
Learning is the process of reflecting on experience, that reflection producing insights that may be useful in solving future problems (Slotnick, 1999)
- Communications, advertising, marketing, and education can be improved by applying principles of adult learning. Adult learning speaks directly to the problems learners want to solve.
- Social (interaction with other learners) and affect are the fundamental principles in learning. Sharing experiences between learners improves knowledge.
- In healthcare the smallest functional environment for learning is the HCP and the patient
When the patient is engaged with the HCP in a process of learning where information, knowledge, and professional advice is matched to the needs of the patient healthcare outcomes will be improved.
You can’t succeed without measurable goals driven by a simple clear strategy based on a kernel of insight. That is the bedrock of any communications plan or educational program. What do you want to do, how will you do it, and are you solving a problem?
When you apply principles of adult learning to an appropriate strategy you improve the ability to achieve your communications and educational goals because you’ve created a receptive and ready audience.
Learning takes place within our consciousness. It is an action based on a need--a problem to solve. It requires humans to be actively engaged in learning behavior.
Learning begins when adults face a problem. A problem demands a solution. At that point we become affective, driven to learn. Receptors in our brain open to accept new information. We add what we’ve learning to our current compendium of knowledge. Our consciousness changes with new knowledge/experience because we’ve reflected on it and apply it to new behavior or decisions. This is a problem-centric solution to product and service communications and marketing.
This effect is greater in a social situation. When we learn with someone else or in a group we learn better. Each learner comes to the same problem with different solutions and understanding. Each learner adds something to the solution for the other. Social media is a learning tool NOT a strategy.
Lev Vygotsky identified "zone of proximal development." If a person is engaged in self-directed learning, they'll get a certain amount out of what they do. If, however, they learn with another person of the same level of sophistication, they'll learn more. Hank Slotnick, Ph.D. says, "the pooled ignorance is less than the sum of the individual ignorance’s."
Most decisions we make as adults especially in healthcare revolve around solving problems for a family member or ourselves. Buying decisions and products we use or want to learn more about are based on our need to learn. Adult learning is a way to improve those decisions.
Currently I am consulting in CME while I identify companies and groups who want to improve the ability of their communications materials and educational programs to drive outcomes. I will post here, on twitter, and Google+. And, if I can help you with a problem let me know