When was the last time an industry rep provided your practice with timely information about new therapies and standards-of-care without disrupting your workflow? Many practices struggle not only with identifying knowledgeable reps but also devising efficient strategies to incorporate these reps into their already-demanding schedules.
What ends up happening is that reps show up unannounced, oftentimes asking to speak directly with physicians who are busy seeing patients. Poorly-timed rep visits can disrupt a practice’s workflow, taking administrative staff time away from patient-focused tasks.
Is there a solution to this industry-wide dilemma? Yes, and it’s one that requires minimal time and effort. Create a policy for your life sciences reps.
Creating this type of policy ensures that everyone—physicians, staff members, and reps—are on the same page when it comes to scheduling educational sessions. A policy supports operational efficiency and helps practices maximize educational opportunities because it lets reps know what information you need, when you need it, and how frequently they can access physicians and clinical staff. It helps set parameters, expectations, and limitations.
Every life sciences rep policy should address the following:
1. The type of reps you will see. For example, will you allow all life sciences reps? Only those representing drugs and biotechnology or devices? Only Medical Science Liaisons who are physicians or nurses?
2. The specific days/times you will see reps. Will you only see them on certain days or at certain times of the day? Consider creating role-based calendars for clinical vs. nonclinical staff so people only hear information that’s relevant to their jobs. Also create a separate calendar for shorter appointments when reps can restock samples, co-pay cards, patient education materials, and obtain physician signatures.
3. Why you see reps. Life science companies are developing technology, and like all technology in the world today, it’s changing at an explosive pace. Even the most brilliant doctors have difficulty staying abreast of it all. The good news is that knowledgeable reps can highlight new information—new products, new indications, and new FDA-approved data or research. Reps also provide important information about new patient assistance programs, formulary coverage, and co-pay cards. Take the time to define ‘new,’ and what it means to your practice, and craft a policy that prioritizes visits with reps who have something new to say.