ADHA Access December 2012 : Page 20

Commercial Support of Dental Hygiene Continuing Educational Programs By Cathy Elliott and Jean Majeski he medical, nursing and pharmacy communities adhere to strict guidelines that have long separated the influence of the pharma industry from medical education and continuing education. Within the oral health care community, education and its relationship to corporate sponsorship is a subject of ongoing discussion. Leading the way to elevate the quality of education for both its member and nonmember audiences, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) adopted guidelines for its own continuing education (CE) programming with respect to com-mercial support. The guidelines address two areas: manage-ment of associated commercial promotion and eliminating commercial bias from content and format of programming. The management section of the guidelines requires the separation of advertising and product promotion messages from both the planning and the presentation of print, comput -er-based, audio/video or live continuing education programs. Educational materials furnished by the commercial sponsor must be free of ads, product names and messages about the product category. Product promotion/product-specific infor -mation may, however, be included on noneducational pieces ancillary to the course, such as content lists or schedules. The content section of the guidelines specifies that the aim of the CE activity be to promote improvements or quality in dental hygiene and oral health outcomes, rather than the commercial interest of the sponsor. It requires that ADHA program content offer a balanced view of therapeutic options, using generic names as much as possible and ensuring that where the use of trade names cannot be avoided, several names from different manufacturers should appear together. T Aegis, ADHA’s online CE content and distribution partner, adheres to these guidelines and subjects course material to review by a CE review panel. Use of educational programming to promote specific prod -ucts is detrimental to the quality of the education; evidence should apply equally to any specific product within a general product category. Fairness and balance require transparency about the nature of the relationship and interactions between the industry and institutions, each of which is subject to its own specific rules for such activity. Nevertheless, it has long been accepted that despite having different missions, commercial dental products companies and oral health professions institutions that offer educational programming reap substantial mutual benefits through their relationships and interactions with one another. Dental product manufacturers have at their disposal consid -erable resources to enhance the education of professionals and student professionals who provide care to the public. These providers have practical experience of new and existing products and can provide valuable feedback and evaluation to their manufacturers. Partnership with an educational institu -tion elevates the reputation of a product company in the eyes of the students and the community of interest. It must be emphasized that ADHA values the partnerships it has developed with corporate sponsors and is grateful for their support. ADHA and its corporate supporters are united in pursuit of the goal to provide quality CE that supports the provision of outstanding patient care. Cathy Elliott is ADHA manager of education, and Jean Majeski is ADHA managing editor, Access . n ADHA and its corporate supporters are united in pursuit of the goal to provide quality CE that supports the provision of outstanding patient care. 20 DEC 2012 access

Special Feature

Cathy Elliott

Commercial Support of Dental Hygiene Continuing Educational Programs<br /> <br /> The medical, nursing and pharmacy communities adhere to strict guidelines that have long separated the influence of the pharma industry from medical education and continuing education. Within the oral health care community, education and its relationship to corporate sponsorship is a subject of ongoing discussion.<br /> <br /> Leading the way to elevate the quality of education for both its member and nonmember audiences, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) adopted guidelines for its own continuing education (CE) programming with respect to commercial support. The guidelines address two areas: management of associated commercial promotion and eliminating commercial bias from content and format of programming.<br /> <br /> The management section of the guidelines requires the separation of advertising and product promotion messages from both the planning and the presentation of print, computer- based, audio/video or live continuing education programs.Educational materials furnished by the commercial sponsor must be free of ads, product names and messages about the product category. Product promotion/product-specific information may, however, be included on noneducational pieces ancillary to the course, such as content lists or schedules.<br /> <br /> The content section of the guidelines specifies that the aim of the CE activity be to promote improvements or quality in dental hygiene and oral health outcomes, rather than the commercial interest of the sponsor. It requires that ADHA program content offer a balanced view of therapeutic options, using generic names as much as possible and ensuring that where the use of trade names cannot be avoided, several names from different manufacturers should appear together.<br /> <br /> Aegis, ADHA’s online CE content and distribution partner, adheres to these guidelines and subjects course material to review by a CE review panel.<br /> <br /> Use of educational programming to promote specific products is detrimental to the quality of the education; evidence should apply equally to any specific product within a general product category. Fairness and balance require transparency about the nature of the relationship and interactions between the industry and institutions, each of which is subject to its own specific rules for such activity.<br /> <br /> Nevertheless, it has long been accepted that despite having different missions, commercial dental products companies and oral health professions institutions that offer educational programming reap substantial mutual benefits through their relationships and interactions with one another.Dental product manufacturers have at their disposal considerable resources to enhance the education of professionals and student professionals who provide care to the public.These providers have practical experience of new and existing products and can provide valuable feedback and evaluation to their manufacturers. Partnership with an educational institution elevates the reputation of a product company in the eyes of the students and the community of interest.<br /> <br /> It must be emphasized that ADHA values the partnerships it has developed with corporate sponsors and is grateful for their support. ADHA and its corporate supporters are united in pursuit of the goal to provide quality CE that supports the provision of outstanding patient care.<br /> <br /> Cathy Elliott is ADHA manager of education, and Jean Majeski is ADHA managing editor, Access.

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