Supporter/Provider Communication: Optimal vs Minimal


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Handout from panel session on "Supporter/Provider Expectations Panel — How they Can Work Together to Better Align Expectations" at the CBI’s 11th Forum on Independent Medical Education and Grants (

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Supporter/Provider Communication: Optimal vs Minimal

  1. 1. The consequences of poor communication in the healthcare environment can literally mean life or death. The consequences of poor communication between supporters and Providers can create a void of unmet educational needs that negatively impact patient care. Provider|Supporter Communication: Optimal vs. Minimal
  2. 2. MINIMAL OPTIMAL Supporter and/or Grant Management System Website Barebones information No submission or grant review criteria GMS difficult to navigate and/or unrealistic character limitations/limited data upload capability Does not request additional information or clarity Excessive browser restrictions Outdated language and/or questions Clear concise information regarding areas of support/funding availability; educational formats; outcomes preferences, i.e., priority given to L5 Publicly available internal needs assessments Submission criteria Grant review criteria Explanation of RFP process (if applicable) GMS with user guide or tutorial Requests additional information Grant Review / Decision Decision notification exceeds timeframe listed Basic form letter with no explanation or other information sent via unmanned email account or USPS No information relative to next steps Timely decision or notification of delayed review/decision Form letter sent via email to specified contact If approved, immediate next steps, specific, honest reason(s) for approval for less $ or decline If not approved, point of contact for questions, appropriate constructive feedback Letter of Agreement No organization-specific Letter of Agreement Letter of Agreement confusing or uses outdated language Not able to add third-party(ies) to agreement Difficult process for making edits Poor instructions for LOA process LOA uses clear language, is updated to reflect current standards, requirements and appropriate language for CHE LOA reflects all responsible parties Clear description of steps to complete fully-executed LOA Interim Status Updates No communication Unclear expectations regarding interim updates, i.e., mode of communication, content, frequency No monitoring of funded education or inappropriate faculty contact at funded activity Written explanation of expectations for interim updates Mechanism for providing interim updates driven by milestones Point of contact for changes of scope or minor changes Independently monitors funded education or maintains appropriate contact at funded activity Financial Reconciliation No or unclear instructions, expectations Difficult to navigate submission process Unrealistic timeframes or requirements for supporting documentation Clear instructions, requirements Easy to navigate submission process Realistic timeframes and requirements for provision of supporting documentation Outcomes No acknowledgement of submitted outcomes data No post-activity feedback—positive or negative Unrealistic requests for Provider to re-create report using “internal” template post-submission Mechanism to report outcomes data across multiple related activities Mechanism to request additional information Opportunities to review with/provide appropriate and constructive feedback to Provider Reasonable requests for post-submission data for internal presentation
  3. 3. Grant Review / Decision: Minimal  “XYZ Pharma has reviewed your grant request and has determined that we are unable to provide support for your proposal. XYZ has established strategic priorities for funding grants and charitable donations and your request does not align with our current strategic priorities.”  “Thank you for the opportunity to review your educational grant request. Unfortunately, at this time, XYZ Pharma is unable to provide financial support for this program. Medical Educational Grants are denied for one or more of the following eight reasons: • Budgetary restrictions • Do not meet XYZ Pharma's guidelines • Do not meet XYZ’s educational objectives • Amount of proposal not aligned with XYZ's interests • Scope of proposal not aligned with XYZ's interests • No response to Request for Additional information • Incomplete grant proposal submission, or • Failure to reconcile previous grant Due to compliance reasons, we are unable to specify the reason for your denial”  “Thank you for your recent education grant request. The Grant Review Committee has determined that XYZ is unable to provide support for your proposal.”
  4. 4. Grant Review/Decision: Optimal  “It is our regret to inform you that our grant review committee has denied your grant submission for Program X for the following reason: No Alignment with Educational Objectives.”  “Thank you for your interest in seeking an educational grant from XYZ Pharma. After reviewing your proposal, regrettably we must decline your request for grant support.” • Before this email was sent out, the supporter called the provider to discuss why the grant request was declined  After careful consideration and review, we regret to inform you that XYZ Pharma is unable to provide funding for this activity for the following reasons: • Budget limitations preclude us from funding your request at this time. Specifically, the level of grant activity in this area of educational interest has exceeded available funding. • The educational program presented in your request is not consistent with our current areas of educational interest. Specifically, it does not align with currently posted CGAs (call for grant applications) with available budget.”  “After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that your submitted Full Proposal was not selected for funding by the external review panel. All requests were evaluated based on their alignment with our educational focus and are compared to the specific area of interest for this RFP. • The Grant Officer aligned with this RFP will be reaching out within the next 2 weeks to provide a feedback form that details the strengths and weakness of your proposal as noted by the external review panel. If you have questions, please email”
  5. 5. Barriers to Optimal Communication 1. Nomenclature/Terminology: Are we speaking the same language? 2. Communication style: Directive vs. vague, informational vs. accusatory 3. Clarity: Inadequate follow-up or failure to obtain confirmation on expectations 4. Preference vs. Need: What we want or expect vs. what is necessary or required 5. Quantity vs. Quality: Too much vs. the “right” content/information 6. Honesty vs. Pacification: Communicating truthfully vs. appeasement or circumvention 7. Broad vs. Specific: Using too broad language vs. clear, specific communication