4. How reps can make an appointment. Manual scheduling can be time-consuming for your practice staff. Consider automated solutions that let reps self-schedule appointments during time slots that your practice designates as available and convenient.
5. Rep frequency. How often will you allow individual reps to visit? How does the supply of your physician’s time compare with reps’ demand for it? Setting—and enforcing—the correct frequency rules helps distribute appointments fairly while ensuring that those reps with new information are able to disseminate it in a timely fashion.
6. Rep requirements. Having an agenda makes all meetings more efficient, and rep in-services should be no different. Ask reps to submit topics in advance so physicians can make informed decisions as to whether they want to attend. The agenda also helps avoid redundant conversations.
7. Whether you will allow food. Slowing down for lunches is a luxury for most physicians. Decide whether you’re able to allow reps in at this time or if you prefer to schedule quick meetings with no meal involved.
8. Code of conduct. How do you expect reps to behave in your practice so they don’t interrupt staff? Will you require reps to sign documents (e.g., a HIPAA policy)? What are the consequences if they don’t follow the rules, and how will you enforce them? Identify a strategy to isolate reps who don’t follow the policy so you can continue to see the reps who play by the rules.
9. Sunshine Act tracking. Although practices are not required to record or report any data, you may want to record any transfer of value that occurs so you can validate the data and contest any errors during the annual review period. If this is of interest, your policy should require reps to leave a copy of the receipt and their sign-in sheet for each meal.
Taking the time to create a life sciences rep policy—and implementing tools to automate the scheduling—can help save practices considerable administrative hours per year while maximizing the educational value of rep visits all to the benefit of patient care.
Dan Gilman is founder and CEO of RxVantage, a free, cloud-based solution that connects physicians and medical staff members with reps who have the most relevant information, enabling practices to continue receiving in-person education with minimal time and effort.