A crucial bridge linking clients and data, medical information teams and call centers answer tens of thousands of inquiries each year. These teams act as an essential point of contact for audiences that range from medical professionals to patients and caregivers, not to mention key internal stakeholders.
Successful groups go beyond managing standard response documents and call centers — they maintain the internal visibility to function as a key resource for colleagues across departments and markets. By proactively working with stakeholders and acting as a dynamic repository for product information and clinical data, the team helps to drive organizational objectives for customer service, compliance, and improvements in patient care.
Of all medical information responsibilities, however, call center management remains the most important and costly. Teams ensure that call centers — outsourced and in-house — are outfitted with the staffing and technology required to meet the needs of different clients. This report addresses the details of call center operations as well as the larger issues facing medical information groups today.
Boost call center efficiency and increase customer satisfaction.
Lock down critical resources, track the right metrics and plan for fluctuations in demand. Contact centers are a critical responsibility, and teams improve their performance by outfitting them with the information, personnel and processes to best meet evolving customer needs.
Structure medical information to support internal functions across the company.
Leverage medical information’s unique abilities to inform stakeholders that range from medical affairs to market access to promotional teams. Escape silos and provide cross-functional support via resources such as company-wide library services and copy review.
Explore medical information key tasks and best practices.
See how top-performing groups create and review standard response documents, handle elevated medical inquiries, deliver trainings and more.
This excerpt is a key finding taken from the full report's executive summary:
Elevate Medical Information Teams’ Visibility to Develop a Patient-Centric Culture
The medical information team’s emphasis may be to ensure that healthcare providers receive accurate, referenced medically sound responses to their inquiries. But drug and device companies also need to recognize that behind each inquiry is a patient need. For medical information teams industrywide, the desire to increase their visibility within their organizations is growing. By raising the medical information team’s visibility, team leaders aim to push their companies toward a greater patient-centered culture.
According to an interviewed director of medical information, the general public would view drug and device companies more favorably if they encouraged patient-focused corporate cultures. To that end, he instructs his staff to not only consider healthcare providers as the audience when developing standard response documents but to also recognize that the information disseminated to clinicians will be used to treat real patients. In his mind, those patients could be his mother or grandmother. So the response had better be accurate in a manner that benefits patient care.
Cutting Edge Information also finds that some patient-centered organizations have larger medical information teams with bigger budgets. Company 2, for example, has 21 FTEs staffed to its medical information team, along with an $11 million budget. The company has publicly announced its plans to engender a patient-centric culture. The company believes that the shift to a patient-centered focus is one way to complement any innovations made through clinical development.
Company 15 is another example of a patient-centric company with a larger team. One of Company 15’s affiliate medical information teams has 4 FTEs — making it one of the larger affiliate teams among the companies profiled in this study.
Countless parties place demands on drug and device manufacturers to increase bottom-line profits and shareholder value. But medical affairs teams are either largely or completely removed from those responsibilities. However, medical affairs teams — and medical information teams in particular — have a responsibility to improve patient care. Doing this will, in the long run, indirectly increase profits. Companies that encourage medical information teams to communicate their impact on patient care create additional structural reporting relationships for the group throughout the organization. As more medical information teams communicate and collaborate with other internal functions, such as marketing, legal and regulatory, their impact is more visible companywide. This elevated impact leads to more patient-centric organizations.