The MedDRA Maintenance and Support Services Organization (MSSO) Increases Efficiency, Improves Communication Using Hurley Write

Background
The MedDRA Maintenance and Support Services Organization (MSSO) is an independent organization that maintains and distributes the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA®), a medically validated terminology used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other health, regulatory, and pharmaceutical industries around the world. The MSSO includes IT experts, support staff, and internationally-based physicians who review all MedDRA proposed subscriber changes and provide timely responses to the requesting subscriber. MedDRA subscribers come from all over the world, speak many different languages, and have various backgrounds in medical, IT, project management, accounting, and finance. MSSO consists of approximately 25 individuals including several remote staff across the United States and Europe.
Challenge
MSSO relies heavily on written communication to subscribers through emails, expert papers, and other technical documents to support the MedDRA terminology. The lingual and cultural mix of MedDRA users makes clear written communication imperative.

In the past, broadcast emails to MedDRA users had been especially problematic for MSSO staff to compose, given the diversity of the audience and complexity of the messages. MSSO staff also had varied levels of writing skills, which led to the potential for misinterpretations of MSSO communications by MedDRA subscribers.

As an organization that requires clear communication and comprehension of complex medical terminology to succeed, MSSO realized that they needed to help their employees improve their writing skills and formalize external written communications to convey messages clearly to subscribers. After considering a myriad of solutions, they turned to Hurley Write, Inc.
Solution
Hurley Write specializes in providing customized writing courses to large corporations and small businesses that empower employees to write with skill and confidence. Since 2003, Hurley Write has provided onsite training to MSSO employees over the course of several sessions, ultimately teaching them how to write and communicate more effectively. Pam Hurley, PhD, president of Hurley Write, analyzed samples of MSSO’s writing and used the documents as workshop exercises to suggest strategies that MSSO could use to improve its written communications. After her initial visit, Pam was invited back to MSSO to teach a refresher course and to educate new MSSO staff members. “Pam was a great and motivational employee trainer, and we’ve been extremely pleased with the work she’s done,” said Patrick Revelle, project director of MSSO. “She definitely made workshops fun and engaging, yet she still challenged us to really look at our writing and improve it.”
Result
Since using Hurley Write’s services to improve external written communications, MSSO has revolutionized their thinking about communication to subscribers via the written word, including making effective language choices and ensuring the documents meet reader needs. MSSO is now conscientiously aware of all written communications and uses the techniques they gained from Hurley Write onsite training to communicate more clearly and effectively with subscribers. Hurley Write has also helped MSSO from an efficiency standpoint, enabling them to quickly compose documents and emails to be sent to subscribers. “Pam’s name is mentioned almost daily in our office now and whether the writing has passed the Pam Hurley Test,” said Patty Mozzicato, chief medical officer of MSSO. “For someone that spent only three days with us, she has quite a legacy here and we utilize the writing techniques she taught us all the time.”

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