Skip to main content

Writing Automation: Benefit Combining MS Word & Structured Authoring

Areyou “ready” to move to 100% structured content? If not, see how you can be fully in MS Word (linking easily to structured content) OR stay Hybrid and still take advantages of Structured component model. Many of the benefits of structured content roll up into one key business need: Scale and Productivity. The ability to produce a lot of content quickly, accurately, and by minimal efforts is a growing need for BioPharma companies which got accelerated during Covid times.


  A Matter of Scale Pharma companies produce truly high volume and variety of content. Some of this content includes vast amounts of data. Both data and content are produced by many people, in many sources of truth, over many months or years. Some of the projects are under tremendous time pressure to get this information out as quickly as possible without compromising its accuracy or missing a piece. One of the primary ways that structured content enables companies to scale is through strategic content reuse . With structured content, you can eliminate unnecessary redundancy from your content and from your processes. Instead, you can reuse the exact right piece of content, everywhere you need to provide that exact right piece of information. Pharma content has a lot of opportunity for content reuse. There’s reuse across Clinical reports. There’s reuse across Labeling. There’s reuse across CMC. All of which have high potential for content reuse. With the right reuse foundation, strategy and system support, much of this reuse can be automated. So can the flow of data into the content. So can the assembly, formatting, and production of the final document. Structured content and strategic content reuse allow you to streamline content operations at every stage, from creation through review, revision, approval, updates, and archive. While pharma content would have benefited from structure from the beginning, pharma companies could not afford to take the risk of transforming their content operations to an entirely different content paradigm moving away from MS Word. Now you have options as described above. Why Is Medical/Regulatory Content So Challenging? Teams face the same content challenges as any other industry, and then some. Here are some common scenarios everyone shares:

  • Takes too long to create, approve, and deliver content
  • Cannot leverage or reuse content across documents
  • Cannot leverage or share content across organizational silos
  • Cannot manage the high volume of variations and versions
  • Wasted time in manual formatting and reformatting of content
  • Wasted time in “copy, paste, and tweak” of old content
  And here are some additional scenarios that keep content teams up at night: Time – Teams are under time pressure to produce right content as part of getting their products to market or staying compliant Data – A large portion of content must be accompanied by or simply is data. Data is so essential to content that an entire software industry has emerged to provide databases and data governance systems just for managing this data. Productivity – Volume increasing every year It’s About Time Structured content is no longer in its infancy. Some of BioPhama companies have adopted (and few more in process) to structured content (either fully or hybrid in combination with MS Word), transforming content from a slow and expensive burden to a fast and valuable asset. They have even successfully expanded their content strategies and structured content management systems to multiple organizational silos. Thanks in part to these early adopters, the structured content ecosystem has stabilized. With hybrid models, teams that don’t want to fully move to Structured-content can also adapt now keeping best of both worlds (online and offline with MS Word). Every company that has experienced a digital transformation knows that it’s not as simple as rolling out a new system and telling everyone to use it. Yet if you do it right define your business requirements, develop your strategy, implement your tools, and support people with excellent change management the business reaps benefits right from the start. Incremental wins along the way help keep everyone motivated to stay on the path. It’s the same with content transformation. As you move into structured content at last, they stand to reap benefits from the very beginning. Each incremental win helps build momentum toward even bigger future wins.