In spring 2018, Palex, internationally recognized provider of localization and translation services, launched a new professional development initiative. “Subject Matter Expert Days” consist of a series of meetings, which provide our employees with the opportunity to meet and talk to professionals from different industries in order to better understand their end users’ expectations. The first of these meetings took place in March when Irina Zhukova, PhD (Medicine), Associate Professor of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Siberian State Medical University and a practising medical researcher came to visit us at our office. She talked about best practise in clinical trials in Russia and abroad.
“The meeting between the practising researcher and our localization team was lively and informative. We anticipated that this meeting would be useful for anyone specialising in the localization of clinical trials, and we were not disappointed. Our account managers, linguists, project managers, engineers and DTP specialists were very interested to hear feedback about their work and the work of their counterparts in other translation companies. We were able to learn at first hand what the customer and the end user are expecting from us and to understand how we can work even better. It was particularly interesting to get feedback from a person whose passion for her work is as sincere as ours,” says Pavel Koshak, Palex CEO.
The experience of spending time and talking with experts provided our linguists with an opportunity to understand how their translations are actually used and to get answers to relevant and pertinent questions. It also gave the other members of our localization team a better understanding of the specifics of the subject matter and taught them how to plan their work so that they could devote maximum attention to quality while sticking to tight deadlines.
“We were able to see the work that goes into the documentation we deal with. It gave us a much more profound understanding of our clients’ projects and how we communicate with them, which was very useful. In the past, we and our clients used to rely largely on the common practices and our own experience, now we can provide much more assured and expert assistance in non-standard situations,” says Elena Kapustina, Project Coordinator, Medical Team.
If you understand the end user’s needs, the value of the translated content and the pitfalls and legal aspects of their business, it’s easier to find a common language with them and provide a higher quality service.
“Sales managers are not usually expected to be experts in every industry they deal with but they do need a basic knowledge of them. These meetings provide a very effective format in which to acquire this sort of knowledge in a very short period of time,” says Ekaterina Anisimova, Business Development Manager.
However, it’s also important to focus on the end user as well. We need to ensure that the translation meets the target audience’s requirements – not only in terms of its accuracy and readability but also its adaptability to real-life situations. This will allow our end users (medical professionals, in this instance) to focus on more important things such as saving people’s lives.
“Your initiative to meet with subject matter experts is an admirable one because it increases translation quality while minimising errors. If trial content is incorrectly translated, we can fail to properly interpret or assess trial study subjects. The consequences can be serious, even leading to inconsistencies in the results received from different countries’ subject populations,” says Irina Zhukova, Practising researcher.
When it comes to translating content for clinical trials, we are particularly proud of our successful collaboration with Bracket Global — one of the leading solution providers of neuropsychiatry surveys and medical researcher training. And this was the reason why we chose neuropsychiatry clinical trials as the topic for the first of our Subject Matter Expert Day lectures.
Bracket Global is a unique company that provides outstanding solutions for clinical trials. We enjoy our partnership with them: they always resolve every issue and query in a timely manner.
Palex’s Subject Matter Expert Days are just another example of how Palex is continually striving to improve their life science and medical translation services.
The importance of the reliability of translated training materials in multinational clinical trials cannot be overemphasized. Translation quality is essential for the successful training of the clinicians and research site personnel of our pharmaceutical sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs). Initiatives such as Palex’s Subject Matter Expert days foster a greater awareness and better understanding of our business on the part of everyone involved in the localization process. The gains are tangible for everybody when Palex’s translation quality objectives are in step with Bracket’s clinical trial best practices.