Medical Information and Call Center Performance

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This report contains benchmarks and best practices to improve medical information call center performance — which is especially critical as these teams take on more responsibilities despite limited resources. Use the report’s data to structure, staff and train medical information teams for optimal efficiency, and identify key performance indicators that best gauge call center effectiveness. Explore methods for preparing teams to handle increasingly complex medical information inquiries. Benchmarks from teams in the US, EU and emerging markets make this research a truly comprehensive overview of medical information call centers.

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Report Details

Publication Date: September 2014
Pages: 169
Chapters: 4
Metrics: 500+
Charts/Graphics: 110+

Top Reasons to Buy This Medical Information 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 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 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 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 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.

You may also be interested in our medical affairs library or individual medical affairs research reports.

Excerpt from Medical Information and Call Center Performance

Medical information groups in today’s budget-constrained pharmaceutical companies face a number of challenges. Their primary role and continuing challenge is to provide useful and effective assistance to patients and HCPs. Medical information groups also work to demonstrate their value without being able to point to a monetary ROI. Finally, these groups are coping with increasing responsibilities despite decreasing resources.

This report serves as a guide to medical information groups that are struggling with these challenges. The first key step for successful medical information groups is to streamline structures to better serve patients, HCPs, and stakeholders. After team positioning, this study examines medical information activities, as well as strategies to boost productivity and demonstrate value. Tracking call center performance with appropriate performance indicators and setting realistic goals will improve group efficiency — and increased efficiency is critical as these teams’ responsibilities expand. A heavier workload provides new opportunities, however: medical information groups that are absorbing tasks from other medical affairs functions can use these activities to raise their profile and improve internal visibility.

Table of Contents

9             Executive Summary

10           Medical Information Call Centers: Key Recommendations for Success

22           Supporting Medical Information Teams and Call Centers through Structure and Staffing

23           Maximizing Medical Information’s Impact through Global and Regional-Level Groups

35           Staff Medical Information Call Center Agents to Drive Successful Operations

47           Train Knowledgeable Call Center Agents to Meet Medical Information Demands

69           Maintain Quality Call Centers By Monitoring Key Performance Indicators and Providing Adequate Support

70           Benchmarking Key Performance Indicators for Call Centers

90           Align Budgets with Call Center Volume and Group Responsibilities

109        Receiving and Responding to Medical Information Requests

112        Call Center Processes for Receiving Medical Information Requests

132        Processing and Responding to Customer Requests

147        Medical Information Call Center Profiles

CHARTS AND GRAPHICS

9             Executive Summary

10           Medical Information Call Centers: Key Recommendations for Success

11           Figure E.1: Types of Medical Information Team Structures: All Companies

12           Figure E.2: Key Performance Indicators: All Call Centers

15           Figure E.3: Average Percentage of Training Hours for New Call Center Agents, by Activity: All Companies

16           Figure E.4: Average Percentage of Annual Training for Call Center Agents, by Activity

19           Figure E.5: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: All Companies

22           Supporting Medical Information Teams and Call Centers through Structure and Staffing

23           Maximizing Medical Information’s Impact through Global and Regional-Level Groups

25           Figure 1.1: Layers of Medical Information Teams Maintained: All Companies

26           Figure 1.2: Layers of Medical Information Teams Maintained: US Groups

27           Figure 1.3: Layers of Medical Information Teams Maintained: EU Groups

27           Figure 1.4: Layers of Medical Information Teams Maintained: Emerging Markets Groups

31           Figure 1.5: US Medical Information Team Structure: Top 10 Company E

32           Figure 1.6: Global and Country-Level Medical Information Team Structure: Top 50 Company

33           Figure 1.7: Global and Regional Medical Information Structure: Small Company B

34           Figure 1.8: Global and Country-Level Medical Information Structure: Top 10 Company F

35           Staff Medical Information Call Center Agents to Drive Successful Operations

37           Figure 1.9: Medical Information Call Center Staffing (US)

38           Figure 1.10: Number of Call Center Agents per Manager (US)

39           Figure 1.11: Medical Information Call Center Staffing (EU)

40           Figure 1.12: Number of Call Center Agents per Manager (EU)

41           Figure 1.13: Distribution of Emerging Market Medical Information Call Center FTEs: Company 59

44           Figure 1.14: Educational Background of Typical Call Center Agent (US Groups, Pharma)

45           Figure 1.15: Educational Background of Typical Call Center Agent: Device Companies (US Groups)

45           Figure 1.16: Educational Background of Typical Call Center Agent (EU Groups)

46           Figure 1.17: Educational Background of Typical Call Center Agent (Emerging Markets)

47           Train Knowledgeable Call Center Agents to Meet Medical Information Demands

48           Figure 1.18: Average Cost of Training New Medical Information Call Center Agents

48           Figure 1.19: Average Annual Cost of Training Experienced Medical Information Call Center Agents

50           Figure 1.20: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Formats: New Call Center Agents (US Groups)

51           Figure 1.22: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Formats: New Call Center Agents (Emerging Markets Groups)

51           Figure 1.21: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Formats: New Call Center Agents (EU Groups)

53           Figure 1.23: Average Number of Hours Spent Training New Hires, by Activity: US Medical Information Teams

54           Figure 1.24: Hours Spent Training New Hires, by Activity: US Medical Information Teams

55           Figure 1.25: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: New Hires (US Medical Information Teams)

56           Figure 1.26: Average Number of Hours Spent Training New Hires, by Activity: EU Medical Information Teams

57           Figure 1.27: Number of Hours Spent Training New Hires, by Activity: EU Medical Information Teams

58           Figure 1.28: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: New Hires (EU Medical Information Teams)

59           Figure 1.29: Number of Training Hours for New Hires, by Activity: Emerging Markets Medical Information Teams

60           Figure 1.30: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: New Hires (Emerging Markets Medical Information Teams)

62           Figure 1.31: Average Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: US Call Center Teams

63           Figure 1.32: Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: US Call Center Teams

63           Figure 1.33: Percentage of Annual Ongoing Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: US Call Center Teams

64           Figure 1.34: Average Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: EU Call Center Teams

65           Figure 1.35: Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: EU Call Center Teams

66           Figure 1.36: Percentage of Annual Ongoing Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: EU Call Center Teams

67           Figure 1.37: Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: Emerging Markets Call Center Teams

68           Figure 1.38: Percentage of Annual Ongoing Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: Emerging Markets Call Center Teams

69           Maintain Quality Call Centers By Monitoring Key Performance Indicators and Providing Adequate Support

70           Figure 2.1: Key Performance Indicators: All Call Centers

70           Benchmarking Key Performance Indicators for Call Centers

71           Figure 2.2: Key Performance Indicators: US Call Centers

72           Figure 2.3: Key Performance Indicators: EU Call Centers

72           Figure 2.4: Key Performance Indicators: Emerging Markets Call Centers

74           Figure 2.5: Inbound Calls per Month at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies

74           Figure 2.6: Inbound Calls per Month at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies

75           Figure 2.7: Inbound Calls per Month: EU and EM Call Centers

76           Figure 2.8: Inbound Calls per FTE per Month at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies

76           Figure 2.9: Inbound Calls per FTE per Month at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies

77           Figure 2.10: Inbound Calls per FTE per Month: EU and EM Call Centers

78           Figure 2.11: Outbound Calls per Month: US Call Centers

79           Figure 2.12: Outbound Calls per FTE per Month at US Call Centers

80           Figure 2.13: Response Turnaround Time (in Hours) at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies

81           Figure 2.14: Response Turnaround Time (in Hours) at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies

81           Figure 2.15: Response Turnaround Time (in Hours) at EU and EM Call Centers

82           Figure 2.16: Abandonment Rates (as a Percentage) at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies

83           Figure 2.17: Abandonment Rates (as a Percentage) at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies

84           Figure 2.18: Average Hold Time (in Minutes) at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies

85           Figure 2.19: Average Hold Time (in Minutes) at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies

85           Figure 2.20: Average Hold Time (in Minutes) at EU and EM Call Centers

86           Figure 2.21: Customer Satisfaction (as a Percentage) at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies

87           Figure 2.22: Customer Satisfaction (as a Percentage) at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies

88           Figure 2.23: Customer Satisfaction Collection Methods: All Call Centers

88           Figure 2.24: Customer Satisfaction Collection Methods: US Call Centers

89           Figure 2.25: Customer Satisfaction Collection Methods: EU Call Centers

89           Figure 2.26: Customer Satisfaction Collection Methods: Emerging Markets Call Centers

90           Align Budgets with Call Center Volume and Group Responsibilities

91           Figure 2.27: Total Budget for US Medical Information Teams: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies

92           Figure 2.28: Total Budget for US Medical Information Teams: Small and Device Companies

93           Figure 2.29: Total Budget for EU and EM Medical Information Teams

95           Figure 2.30: Percentage of Medical Information Budget Dedicated to All Call Center Activities: US

95           Figure 2.31: Percentage of Medical Information Budget Dedicated to All Call Center Activities: EU and EM

97           Figure 2.32: Single Call Center Budget for Top 10 and Top 50 Companies: US Groups

97           Figure 2.33: Single Call Center Budget for Small and Device Companies: US Groups

98           Figure 2.34: Single Call Center Budget for EU and EM Groups

99           Figure 2.35: Cost per FTE at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies

100        Figure 2.36: Cost per FTE at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies

100        Figure 2.37: Cost per FTE at EU and EM Call Centers

101        Figure 2.38: Cost per Inbound Call at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies

102        Figure 2.39: Cost per Inbound Call at Small and Device Companies: US Groups

103        Figure 2.40: Activities Outsourced by US Call Centers

104        Figure 2.41: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at US Groups: Answering Unsolicited Inquiries

105        Figure 2.42: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at EU and EM Groups: Answering Unsolicited Inquiries

105        Figure 2.43: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at All Companies: Adverse Event Reporting

106        Figure 2.44: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at All Companies: Patient Adherence

106        Figure 2.45: Percentage of Activity Outsourced at All Companies: Trial Recruitment

107        Figure 2.46: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at All Companies: Internal Literature Requests

108        Figure 2.47: Frequency of Call Center Vendor Audits

108        Figure 2.48: Frequency of Call Center Vendor Audits, by Region

109        Receiving and Responding to Medical Information Requests

110        Figure 3.1: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: All Companies

110        Figure 3.2: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: US Groups

111        Figure 3.3: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: EU Groups

111        Figure 3.4: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: Emerging Markets Groups

112        Call Center Processes for Receiving Medical Information Requests

113         Figure 3.5: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel (US)

114         Figure 3.6: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: Top 10 (US Groups)

114         Figure 3.7: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: Top 50 (US Groups)

115        Figure 3.8: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: Small and Device  Companies (US Groups)

116         Figure 3.9: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel (EU)

116        Figure 3.10: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: EU

117        Figure 3.11: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: Emerging Markets

121         Figure 3.12: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Top 10 and Top 50 (US Groups)

122         Figure 3.13: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Small and Device Companies (US Groups)

123         Figure 3.14: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Top 10 and Top 50 (EU Groups)

124         Figure 3.15: Percentages of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Small Companies (EU Groups)

124         Figure 3.16: Percentages of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Emerging Markets Groups

125         Figure 3.17: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Top 10 and Top 50 (US Groups)

126         Figure 3.18: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Small and Device Companies (US Groups)

126         Figure 3.19: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Top 10 and Top 50 (EU Groups)

127         Figure 3.20: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Small                           Companies (EU Groups)

127         Figure 3.21: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Emerging                 Markets Groups

129         Figure 3.22: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Placed By Specific Stakeholders: Top 10 and Top 50 (US Groups)

129         Figure 3.23: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Placed By Specific Stakeholders: Small and Device Companies (US Groups)

130         Figure 3.25: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Placed By Specific Stakeholders: Small                   Companies (EU Groups)

130         Figure 3.24: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Placed By Specific Stakeholders: Top 10 and Top 50 (EU Groups)

131         Figure 3.26: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Placed by Specific Stakeholders: Emerging Markets Groups

132        Figure 3.27: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Top 10 and Top 50 (US Groups)

132        Processing and Responding to Customer Requests

133        Figure 3.28: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Small and Device Companies (US Groups)

133        Figure 3.29: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Top 10 and Top 50 (EU Groups)

134        Figure 3.30: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Small             Companies (EU Groups)

134        Figure 3.31: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Emerging Markets Groups

147         Medical Information Call Center Profiles

149        Figure 4.1: Company 3: Call Center Background

150        Figure 4.2: Company 3: Call Center Resources and KPIs

151        Figure 4.3: Company 3: Call Center Inquiries

152        Figure 4.4: Company 9: Call Center Background

153        Figure 4.5: Company 9: Call Center Resources and KPIs

154        Figure 4.6: Company 9: Call Center Inquiries

155        Figure 4.7: Company 19: Call Center Background

156        Figure 4.8: Company 19: Call Center Resources and KPIs

157        Figure 4.9: Company 19: Call Center Inquiries

158        Figure 4.10: Company 33: Call Center Background

159        Figure 4.11: Company 33: Call Center Resources and KPIs

160        Figure 4.12: Company 33: Call Center Inquiries

161        Figure 4.13: Company 39: Call Center Background

162        Figure 4.14: Company 39: Call Center Resources and KPIs

163        Figure 4.15: Company 39: Call Center Inquiries

164        Figure 4.16: Company 44: Call Center Background

165        Figure 4.17: Company 44: Call Center Resources and KPIs

166        Figure 4.18: Company 44: Call Center Inquiries

167        Figure 4.19: Company 59: Call Center Background

168        Figure 4.20: Company 59: Call Center Resources and KPIs

169        Figure 4.21: Company 59: Call Center Inquiries