Discussions, hashtags, blog posts, videos, and articles in news media... How is it possible to keep track of everything that is posted online today? Feedback posted on social media, forums, and blogs are often so-called unsolicited reports, a highly important sort of information to keep track of in order to fetch positive or negative feedback both for Pharmacovigilance and Post market surveillance. In this blog post, we explain what unsolicited reports are and how Hoodin may provide a simple and effective way to monitor them.
What do we mean by unsolicited reports?
Unsolicited reports is a term within Post Market Surveillance and Pharmacovigilance which broadly means a spontaneous report that is unsolicited communicated by healthcare professionals, users, or stakeholders to a company, regulatory authority, or other organization. Unsolicited reports do not derive from a study or any organized data collection, which means that these reports are not requested by anyone.
Monitoring industry media, blogs and news media
We have divided the unsolicited reports into two groups for an easier project overview. One for industry news, blogs and news media and one for Social media and discussion forums. By doing so, it is easier to keep track of the various content and respond to the ones from social media and forums if needed. By monitoring niche industry media, blogs and in some cases also major media you detect mentions of your product. Those mentions can be feedback of positive or negative type, whereas both are crucial to review.
Monitoring Social media and discussion forums
It is equally important to monitor Social media and discussion forums. Through Hoodin's monitoring platform it is possible to keep track of what is written about your products and company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. By using matching words and/or hashtags you can create feeds so that you have the monitoring in place for upcoming (possible) findings in regards to unsolicited reports.
This is what is happening on social media and forums, right now
You might think that social media wouldn't be necessary to monitor for PMS or PV purposes but the fact is that people use social media to a higher extent to express themselves, and the events they have experienced. And amongst “people” we have doctors, nurses, procurement officers, patients, and relatives to patients. They behave just like anyone else in many ways and just as what could happen if the bus doesn't show up, for the fifth time in a row, that waiting person might post an angry post where they express their irritation and leave the post with a hashtag of the company name for public transportation. A doctor, nurse, patient, or relative to a patient just might do the same thing with your products. Negative or positive feedback as a social media shout-out.
Besides social media, there are also forums where people (mainly patients and relatives to patients) share thoughts and experiences from the use of devices and/or drugs. That information may very well be a kind of feedback that should be a change request for your product or that the number of shared posts about the same question/feedback is summing up to a true concern. Monitoring social media and forums just can’t be overseen anymore. It may very well be the most important thing to do, in order to perform surveillance.
It is impossible to perform surveillance in a manual way these days
Trying to monitor industry media, blogs, social media, and forums in a manual and irregular way is neither possible or recommended. It takes a huge amount of time, and you still would not be able to find everything. Besides the time needed, manual monitoring would also cause a non-systematic approach where findings and information arrive when a search is done, rather than when it was published. With smart tools, you save both time and maneuver into a more suited systematic approach. Another advantage of systematic and automated monitoring of unsolicited reports is to have all data gathered in one place. That way, the information is easily accessible to those concerns. To the right persons, at the right time!