A pharmaceutical sales rep spends most days in the field, attempting to meet with physicians by visiting their offices. The rep knows if they can gain access to meeting with physicians, they’ll have an opportunity to educate the physicians about the many benefits of the drug treatments they promote. But getting in front of those doctors isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The Problem with Inaccurate Data
The more doctors a rep can see in a day, the more likely they are to drive sales in their territory, something the rep’s company closely tracks and is an important factor in annual performance review. The reps may be frustrated by the lack of quality in their company’s provider information.
Nearly every day the rep may find themselves visiting doctors’ offices where they learn one of the following statements is true:
- The office has moved to a new location.
- The doctor they came to see has left the practice.
- The doctor’s specialty was incorrectly listed, and is not a good prospect.
- The doctor rarely ever sees patients with the disease their drug treats.
- The doctor is part of a care team that meets with sales reps at a different location.
Regardless of the reason the rep’s visit is unsuccessful, the result is always the same: time that could have been spent making sales has been wasted.
Provider Data Is Always Changing
Getting and maintaining accurate provider data presents an enormous challenge for life sciences companies, because it’s continually changing. What’s true today may change tomorrow.
LexisNexis® Health Care, which tracks providers nationwide, sees 33,000 primary address changes per week. Over 20% of doctors change their affiliations each year, and 5% of doctors change their status annually.
Compounding the situation is the ongoing consolidation within the industry – as physician networks acquire physician practices and other physician networks.
The Challenges of Data Stewardship
Managing provider information requires a strong infrastructure, one that includes access to thousands of data sources, systematic processes and state-of-the-art automation.
Unfortunately, most life sciences organizations lack the technology and resources to build and maintain a comprehensive provider database. The result is inaccurate, outdated information.
How to Choose a Data Partner
Many life sciences organizations are finding that hiring a data technology partner is the best solution for staying up to date with practitioner and facility activity. When evaluating prospective vendors, look for these features and capabilities:
- Access to the most current and comprehensive identity-based information
- The ability to seamlessly integrate non-healthcare data sources for added insight
- A data engine that continuously aggregates and links large volumes of data from an expanding list of data sources
- Systems in place for cleansing data to ensure the highest quality
- Applied analytics to view the data from many angles and develop insights that might otherwise not be discovered
- Visualization tools for users to absorb and understand the information
Each element I just described is critical to ensuring that a sales rep gets in front of his or her target physicians to help educate them about the benefits of the drug they are promoting.
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Want to know more? Check out our Infographic, “Data—the greatest challenge and opportunity for healthcare.”