Oct. 28, 2019 – The Point of Care Communication Council (PoC3) recently issued long-awaited guidance for media buyers and their clients to help define industry best practices, promote trust among those who interact at the point of care (POC), and provide a standardized process that allows stakeholders to know which POC media vendors are certified by and in compliance with the PoC3 Verification and Validation Guidance requirements.
The guidelines are being issued roughly two years after claims that one leading POC provider had misled advertisers about the reach of its programs, and in response to questions about verifying whether POC messages are actually being delivered to the stated number of patients and in the stated number of provider settings.
“The PoC3 deserves applause for its initiative in developing these new verification and validation guidelines,” said Coalition for Healthcare Communication Executive Director Jon Bigelow. “By achieving and codifying industry-wide agreement on the types of audits required, how those audits will be conducted and by whom, and with clear and consistent definitions of all terminology, the guidelines will give additional credibility to the process at a time when spending on point of care communications is projected to touch $1 billion annually within five years.”
Because of the prior problems, the PoC3 recognized the importance of having clear industry guidelines, which were announced Oct. 18, just ahead of the PoC3 Industry Summit, held in New York last Wednesday, at which a panel representing the committee described key features.
The new guidance includes overall auditing requirements, network auditing requirements, and campaign auditing requirements, as well as best practices for campaign and network auditing and POC measurement. Further, the guidance spells out the qualification of key metrics and defined success criteria, includes a list of PoC3-approved third-party auditing companies and provides a glossary of common definitions.
“The PoC3 Verification and Validation Guidance is pivotal to the POC industry at large,” PoC3 Co-chair Larry Newman said in an Oct. 18 statement. “As the channel continues to grow and advance at an accelerated rate, having a unified set of checks and balances will help buyers understand POC opportunities and have confidence in program implementations and results.”
PoC3 Co-chair Mike Collette explained that the guidance as released incorporated comments from PoC3 member companies, pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies and other stakeholders. “Ensuring that all industry stakeholders had the opportunity to contribute and provide input was critically important in developing this guidance,” he said. “Our hope is that all POC media companies will strive to become PoC3 Certified. It’s a high bar requiring substantial investment in external, independent auditing, improved operational processes and IT reporting systems,” Collette continued. “This collective effort continues to elevate the industry.”
PoC3 also reports that its membership has more than doubled in less than a year, according to Executive Director Karen Newmark. “In the months ahead, we expect to see different types of companies – all with common interest in the PoC3 mission – joining our ranks to work collaboratively in driving innovation,” she noted.