IPCAA, the International Pharmaceutical Congress Advisory Association, is open to healthcare organisations from around the world which are involved in medical congresses. Specifically aimed at event organisation, IPCAA offers members a comprehensive online resource portal with information regarding education, code of conduct and guidelines. IPCAA helps to bring cohesion to congress management globally and in order to obtain membership, companies must maintain a permanent healthcare-oriented research programme.
We were invited to develop a new site for IPCAA making it more user-friendly and accessible to its members. Undertaking the website development was a vast task and migrating the huge volume of content to the site took time and organisation. We added to the site’s resources by enabling each member organisation to add and manage their own company’s hierarchy of contacts (confidential, secondary, gatekeeper and primary contact). Previously IPCAA had to undertake all the housekeeping of their members, a task removed by the introduction of editing rights to each member’s specific gatekeeper.
Since rolling out the initial website development and design in 2008, mso.net has continued to make updates, exponentially increasing the overall user experience. We uploaded a regulatory guidance tool in 2009 which helps members to understand voluntary industry codes and its aim is to aid self-regulation between organisations and Healthcare Professionals (HCPs). A year later, a task force module was introduced which provides members with the opportunity to indicate in which therapeutic areas they are active in and to get appropriate communication/updates. Once logged in, members can find downloadable information, as well as details of other organisations allocated to their area of expertise. Keen to continue to improve members’ experience of their site, IPCAA, further developed the 'contacts' section enabling members to review their own organisation and discover their designated representatives. As a result people can easily get in contact with their peers in another Member company to exchange experience or discuss common issues.
A benefit of IPCAA membership is being able to share professional experience and research with fellow members. To take this further, IPCAA wanted to facilitate chosen members to collaborate on papers: a task that sounds easy but, when members are based all over the world, the reality can become a bureaucratic nightmare. Our solution was to develop a shared document facility whereby designated employees of member companies can be assigned viewing rights to certain documents (in various formats) that have been uploaded by the Secretariat. When a document is uploaded, those assigned viewing rights will receive an email alert informing them of an upload and once logged in, can choose to download the paper. If any amendments to the document are deemed necessary authorised persons can re-upload the aforementioned changed document with a brief description of the amendment. Once the process has been completed, another email alert will be automatically sent notifying the others of an update.
Our latest offering to IPCAA is a newly designed document archive which helps to organise the many documents that are available to member companies. Rather than offering a more orthodox ‘tree’ approach to the display, we have slide out transition of folders which improves the overall interaction for users and makes way for a smoother document retrieval system.