Soliciting user feedback: BNF Publications policy

The BNF publications provide vital information on the use and selection of medicines which optimise the treatment regimens healthcare professionals choose to use.

This policy covers our aspirations and commitments to obtain feedback from customers and users of BNF publications to:

  • obtain insight to how the new data structure fits your needs
  • increase the value we offer to the health system, and
  • monitoring our new structure in improving the way healthcare is delivered.

Virtual User Groups

BNF Publications has a structured approach to gathering feedback via the BNF Virtual User Groups.  Healthcare professionals can give feedback and inform development of future BNF formats and content. Respondents are recruited from those who receive e-newsletters from the BNF, and they are surveyed on particular editorial issues that are identified by the BNF team.

These surveys happen several times a year. Surveys are conducted online and typically consist of a dozen questions. The responses are used to inform our editorial development. For instance, we might ask how widely used particular parts of a chapter are within a specific professional group, and make changes to the section to increase its usefulness.

Formulary Committees and Advisory Groups

The clinical governance of BNF Publications consists of the Joint Formulary Committee, the Paediatric Formulary Committee, the Dental Advisory Group, and the Nurse Prescribers’ Advisory Group. These panels of leading clinical experts provide specific advice on the use of medicines. The Committees also debate wider issues and advise on the strategic development of the clinical content of BNF publications.

Expert clinical advisers

BNF Publications uses a network of clinical advisers from every speciality and from across the UK to assist the Formulary Committees in making clinical decisions. Feedback from the expert advisers is solicited for every edition of the publications, and is an important source of content development.

Periodic formal market research

At regular intervals, and at least every three years, a formal market research exercise is conducted to provide information on sources of medicines information. The aim of these exercises is to track the popularity and use of BNF relative to other sources and in different professional groups, to gain understanding of the different formats, and to measure satisfaction. Suggestions for improvement are also sought. The research is conducted by an independent third party. The first few questions, asking which medicines information sources are used, are always conducted before the BNF is revealed as the sponsor of the research.

The following key indicators, measured through the periodic formal market research, are used to measure the effectiveness of the BNF:

  • net promoter score
  • percentage of professionals using BNF
  • percentage of professionals using other sources in preference to BNF