Medical Information and Call Center Performance (PH206)

Building New Practices to Meet the Evolving Needs of HCPs and Patients
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Published 2014
172 Pages
500+ Metrics
110+ Charts and Diagrams

Benchmark Your Medical Information Team’s Key Performance Indicators and Resource Allocation

Cutting Edge Information’s latest study on medical information teams contains benchmarks and best practices to improve medical information call center performance — especially critical as these teams take on more responsibilities despite limited resources. Data show how to structure, staff and train medical information teams for optimal efficiency; which key performance indicators best gauge call center effectiveness; and methods for preparing teams to expertly handle increasingly complex medical information inquiries. Our study features benchmarks from teams in the US, EU and emerging markets — offering a truly comprehensive overview of medical information call centers.

Report Highlights

  • Real-company case studies and diagrams showing coordination among global, regional and therapeutic area-specific teams.
  • Call center staffing benchmarks, including number of agents per manager and outsourcing levels, allowing teams to adjust staffing to meet fluctuating project demands.
  • Charts showing preferred educational/professional backgrounds for call center agents
  • Extensive metrics outlining training hours for new hires and experienced call center agents, including preferred training formats and percentage of training time to spend per topic.
  • Call center key performance indicator benchmarks (KPIs), including inbound and outbound calls per month, response turnaround time, abandonment rates, and customer satisfaction.
  • Medical information and call center budget metrics, including budgets for single call centers and cost per FTE.
  • Sixteen (16) recommendations for facilitating medical information process requests, empowering the call center team, and creating/maintaining standard response documents (SRDs).
  • Seven (7) call center profiles showcasing select call centers’ background, resources, and key performance indicators.

Other Benefits of Purchasing This Study

  • Benchmark your medical information teams, both internally and at the call center, against key performance indicators collected and analyzed in this study.
  • Align budgets with call center volume and group responsibilities.
  • Learn the advantages of implementing self-guided training programs to maximize efficiency.
  • Boost efficiency by establishing clear processes for elevated calls.
  • Explore call center operations for teams of different sizes and regions.

Key Questions that This Study Answers

  1. Which key performance indicators do companies use to gauge call center performance?
  2. What factors influence medical information spending?
  3. How do medical information teams best serve clients’ healthcare information needs in light of increased digital/social media usage?
  4. How should companies staff their medical information teams to efficiently address operational needs and ensure optimal product support?
  5. Which call center activities are most commonly outsourced, and to what extent?

Top Reasons to Buy This Report

See how other companies structure their medical information teams to provide the best support to their call centers:

The medical information department structure that companies install will impact the entire strategy permeating down to the call centers. Data show how top-performing teams structure their medical information teams at multiple levels, including global, country and regional-level and therapeutic-area specific. The report includes detailed medical information and call center team structure, staffing and training benchmarks for top 10 pharma, top 50 pharma, small pharma and device companies.

Collect and track key performance indicators for your medical information call center:

Measuring the health and success of a medical information call center often comes down to four key performance indicators. Purchase this report to learn what those four KPIs are and how they are impacted by portfolio size and product type. Finally, learn how call center performance in the United States varies from that of teams based in Europe or emerging markets.

Justify requests for increases in resources and to show value to senior leaders:

One of the medical information team’s challenges is that it is often viewed as a cost center. But these teams should be recognized for the value they truly bring to the organization. Learn how top pharmaceutical and medical device companies communicate their medical information teams’ value by focusing on additional services that they provide. As medical information leaders begin asking and arguing for more resources, these are the activities that they can point toward to justify increases in staffing and budget.

Medical Information and Call Center Metrics


Chapter 1: Supporting Medical Information Teams and Call Centers Through Structure and Staffing

Chapter Benefits

  • Implement global functions as well as country-level and therapeutic-area specific teams to unify the company voice and meet community needs.
  • Staff call centers with highly educated agents with professional healthcare backgrounds to address complex information requests.
  • Adjust call center staffing to meet anticipated call volumes around product launches.
  • Focus new-hire and annual-review call center training on product information and education.
  • Consider self-guided training programs to maximize efficiency.

Key Metrics
38 charts detailing medical information and call center team structure, staffing and training benchmarks. Throughout the chapter, data are broken up by company size/type (top 10, top 50, small pharma and device) and geographic region (US, EU and emerging markets groups).

Team Structure and Staffing

  • Types of medical information team structure (global, therapeutic area-specific, regional-level and country-level)
  • Diagrams showing medical information team structures, representing different company sizes
  • Diagram showing in-house and outsourced agents at one emerging markets group
  • Number of call center agents per manager
  • Educational background of typical call center agents

Team Training

  • Average cost of training new medical information call center agents
  • Average annual cost of training experienced agents
  • Percentage of training hours dedicated to specific formats (classroom, self-guided, live role-play)
  • Average number of hours and percentage of training hours, by activity:
    o Compliance
    o Adverse event reporting
    o Product information
    o Customer service
    o Database/CRM system navigation
  • Percentage of training hours dedicated to those activities for new agents
  • Average hours of annual ongoing training for those activities
  • Percentage of annual ongoing training hours dedicated to those activities

Chapter 2: Maintain Quality Call Centers by Monitoring Key Performance Indicators and Providing Adequate Support

Chapter Benefits

  • Use KPIs to track call center performance in lieu of hard ROI.
  • Align budgets with call center volume and group responsibilities.
  • Use vendors for flexibility and for easily scalable activities.

Key Metrics
48 charts detailing call center key performance indicators (KPIs) and vendor support. Throughout the chapter, data are broken down by company size type (top 10, top 50, small pharma and device) and geographic region (US, EU and emerging markets groups).

Call Center KPI

  • Percentage of companies using specific call center key performance indicators
  • Number of inbound calls per month
  • Outbound calls per month
  • Response turnaround time at US (EU, EM) call centers
  • Abandonment rates (as a percentage) at US (EU, EM) call centers
  • Average hold time (in minutes) at US (EU, EM) call centers
  • Customer satisfaction (as a percentage) at US call centers
  • Methods for collecting customer satisfaction

Medical Information Team/Call Center Budgets

  • Total budget for US (EU and EM) medical information teams
  • Percentage of medical information budget dedicated to all call center activities
  • Single call center budget for top 10 (50, small and device) company call centers
  • Cost per FTE at US (EU, EM) call centers
  • Cost per inbound call


  • Activities outsourced by US (EU, EM) call centers
  • Percentage of call center activity outsourced at US (EU, EM)
    o Answering unsolicited inquiries
    o Adverse event reporting
    o Patient adherence
    o Trial recruitment
    o Internal literature requests
  • Frequency of call center vendor audits

Chapter 3: Receiving and Responding to Medical Information Requests

Chapter Benefits

  • Evolve medical information teams to respond to today’s more informed, tech-savvy customers.
  • Tailor standard response documents to your audience.
  • Boost efficiency by establishing clear processes for elevated calls.
  • Allocate internal staff to monitor and audit the medical information call center.

Key Metrics
31 charts detailing call centers’ processes for managing and responding to medical information requests. Throughout the chapter, data are broken down by company size/type (top 10, top 50, small pharma and device) and geographic region (US, EU, and emerging markets groups).

  • Activities conducted by medical information call centers
  • Percentage of medical information requests received, by channel
  • Percentage of medical information inquiries relating to a specific product topic
    o Efficacy
    o Adverse events
    o Off-label uses
    o Safety questions
    o Clinical studies
    o Stability and storage
    o General dosing/administration
    o Publications
  • Percentage of inquiries placed by specific internal stakeholders:
    o Sales force
    o Commercial or market access teams
    o Medical Science Liaisons
    o Direct customer inquiries
  • Response methodologies to medical information requests, by channel
  • EQ-5D/EuroQoL

Chapter 4: Medical Information Call Center Profiles

Chapter Benefits

  • Benchmark your call center teams directly against 7 other groups.
  • Explore call center operations for teams of different sizes and regions.

Key Metrics
21 charts detailing seven medical information call center profiles. Profiles span all company sizes (Top 10, Top 50, small and medical device) and geographies. Each profile focuses on the following data:

Call Center Background

  • Company size
  • Call center region
  • Therapeutic areas supported
  • Business hours

Call Center Resources:

  • 2014 call center budget
  • In-house and outsourced managers
  • Presence of an automated response system

Key Performance Indicators
Ideal and actual KPIs for specific call centers where available. KPIs include:

  • Inbound calls per month
  • Turnaround time
  • Abandonment rates
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Average hold time
  • Median hold time
  • Annual calls per FTE
  • Outbound calls per month

Call Center Inquiries

  • Percentage of call center inquiries on specific topics
  • Source of inquiries
  • Person responsible for submitting the official request

Excerpt from Medical Information and Call Center Performance

The following is a key finding from Chapter 2, section 1 of the report, “Benchmarking Key Performance Indicators for Call Centers.”

Customer Satisfaction Metrics
Customer satisfaction metrics are key performance indicators for 59% of surveyed companies. Many companies aim to ensure that they meet their targets for customer satisfaction. To that end, they also work to make sure that they are collecting this data in the most effective and efficient way possible. The charts and figures in this chapter show how companies are setting these benchmarks. They also show the various means of gauging customer satisfaction in specific areas.

Surveyed companies collect customer satisfaction levels in various ways:

  • Among all companies surveyed, electronic surveys (44% of companies) are the most popular, followed by mail-in surveys (39%).
  • Less popular means of determining customer satisfaction levels include business reply cards and individual telephone surveys (11% each).
  • Other methods of collecting customer satisfaction include using vendors and in-person interviews at congresses and meetings.
  • US-based companies tend to use electronic surveys (50%) and mailed surveys (43%).
  • Surveyed EU and EM groups also rely on online surveys for a large part of their customer satisfaction ratings, although in emerging markets mail-in surveys are just as common (50%).