Needs Assessment? What’s that?

At networking events or in conversations with other medical and science writers, when I say, “I write continuing medical education including needs assessments” before I can finish my sentence about slide sets, review articles, and monographs, the other person often says, “What’s a needs assessment?” After describing needs assessments many times, I thought it was time for a blog post.

Needs Assessments: The Basics

  • Part of a larger grant for obtaining funding  for continuing medical education programs from pharmaceutical companies or other funding sources
  • The foundation upon which the entire educational program is built
  • Outlines current physician or nursing practices
  • Defines optimal physician or nursing practices
  • Highlights the gaps between current and optimal practices
  • The gaps support the need for education
  • Provides learning objectives based on gaps for the proposed educational program
  • Lists appropriate faculty for the activity

In the future, I will periodically provide posts with tips for writing needs assessments. Can you think of anything I missed in describing the basics of a needs assessment? Let me know in the comments section.

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2 Responses to Needs Assessment? What’s that?

  1. Thank you for this short primer on needs assessments. I confess, I would have asked you about them, too. I look forward to reading your tips.

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