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Medical Information and Call Center Performance

Cutting Edge Information conducted this research to uncover best practices and benchmarks associated with medical information teams and call centers. In developing this report, analysts collected surveys from and consulted with more than 30 medical information call center leaders at a number of top pharmaceutical, biotechnology and call center contracting companies. Executives taking part in this research range from senior-level executives to call center managers to consultants working on the front lines of medical information call center operations.

DATA COLLECTION

Analysts developed the information upon which this study is based through both primary and secondary sources. Cutting Edge Information's process for collecting and analyzing information encompasses two distinct tools: quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews. Both tools are necessary for understanding not only the hard metrics included in this study, but also the reasoning behind the metrics.

Cutting Edge Information analysts began developing the quantitative survey tool used in this study by working closely with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industry executives. Once the research team completed the survey design, analysts recruited study participants from pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies and medical device firms worldwide to collect data on medical information teams, activities and trends. The research team collected all survey data through primary research with front-line medical information experts. Altogether Cutting Edge Information collected and analyzed data sets from 31 companies of all sizes and geographic locations. Study participants included vice presidents and directors of medical information, medical affairs, scientific communications and medical communications, as well as industry experts working for high-level consultancies.

Once study participants submitted a survey, analysts used qualitative interviews to uncover more detailed information. Cutting Edge Information used telephone interviews with pharmaceutical and medical device executives to understand the challenges and solutions to meeting the demands of medical information planning and processes. By interviewing a selection of survey respondents, Cutting Edge Information gained a deeper understanding of medical information management. In return for these parties' contributions, they received the study results. In addition, analysts used secondary research focused on public information related to specific companies and regulations.

COMPANY BLINDING

To ensure that Cutting Edge Information protects the identities and privacy of all study participants, this research does not name the companies or products it examines, nor does it link specific companies with therapeutic areas. Company blinding is a critical device that allows survey respondents to comfortably provide accurate data for studies such as this one.

DATA BREAKDOWN: COMPANY SIZE

This study divides surveyed companies into three categories to differentiate by size. Within the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, analysts divided the surveyed firms into three sizes based on Pharmaceutical Executive magazine's 2013 assessment. The categories used to analyze the data are:

  • Top 20 Companies: Pharmaceutical and biotech companies ranked in the Top 20 according to Pharmaceutical Executive. Generally, these companies achieve annual drug revenues above $5 billion.
  • Top 50 Companies: Pharmaceutical and biotech companies ranked between 21 and 50. Generally, these companies achieve annual drug revenues greater than $2 billion.
  • Small/Biotech: Pharmaceutical and biotech companies ranked outside of the Top 50. Generally, these companies achieve annual drug revenues less than $2 billion.
  • Medical Device: Medical device companies are those that focus on the manufacturing and development of medical equipment such as implantable devices, diagnostic products or other medical devices.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    • Medical Information Call Centers: Key Recommendations for Success
  • Supporting Medical Information Teams and Call Centers through Structure and Staffing
    • Maximizing Medical Information's Impact through Global and Regional-Level Groups
    • Staff Medical Information Call Center Agents To Drive Successful Operations
    • Train Knowledgeable Call Center Agents to Meet Medical Information Demands
  • Maintain Quality Call Centers By Monitoring Key Performance Indicators and Providing Adequate Support
    • Benchmarking Key Performance Indicators for Call Centers
  • Align Budgets with Call Center Volume and Group Responsibilities
  • Receiving and Responding to Medical Information Requests
    • Call Center Processes for Receiving Medical Information Requests
    • Processing and Responding to Customer Requests
  • Medical Information Call Center Profiles

Executive Summary

Medical Information Call Centers: Key Recommendations for Success

  • Figure E.1: Types of Medical Information Team Structures: All Companies
  • Figure E.2: Key Performance Indicators: All Call Centers
  • Figure E.3: Average Percentage of Training Hours for New Call Center Agents, by Activity: All Companies
  • Figure E.4: Average Percentage of Annual Training for Call Center Agents, by Activity
  • Figure E.5: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: All Companies

Supporting Medical Information Teams and Call Centers through Structure and Staffing

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

  • Figure 1.1: Layers of Medical Information Teams Maintained: All Companies
  • Figure 1.2: Layers of Medical Information Teams Maintained: US Groups
  • Figure 1.3: Layers of Medical Information Teams Maintained: EU Groups
  • Figure 1.4: Layers of Medical Information Teams Maintained: Emerging Markets Groups
  • Figure 1.5: US Medical Information Team Structure: Top 10 Company E
  • Figure 1.6: Global and Country-Level Medical Information Team Structure: Top 50 Company
  • Figure 1.7: Global and Regional Medical Information Structure: Small Company B
  • Figure 1.8: Global and Country-Level Medical Information Structure: Top 10 Company F

Staff Medical Information Call Center Agents to Drive Successful Operations

  • Figure 1.9: Medical Information Call Center Staffing (US)
  • Figure 1.10: Number of Call Center Agents per Manager (US)
  • Figure 1.11: Medical Information Call Center Staffing (EU)
  • Figure 1.12: Number of Call Center Agents per Manager (EU)
  • Figure 1.13: Distribution of Emerging Market Medical Information Call Center FTEs: Company 59
  • Figure 1.14: Educational Background of Typical Call Center Agent (US Groups, Pharma)
  • Figure 1.15: Educational Background of Typical Call Center Agent: Device Companies (US Groups)
  • Figure 1.16: Educational Background of Typical Call Center Agent (EU Groups)
  • Figure 1.17: Educational Background of Typical Call Center Agent (Emerging Markets)

Train Knowledgeable Call Center Agents to Meet Medical Information Demands

  • Figure 1.18: Average Cost of Training New Medical Information Call Center Agents
  • Figure 1.19: Average Annual Cost of Training Experienced Medical Information Call Center Agents
  • Figure 1.20: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Formats: New Call Center Agents (US Groups)
  • Figure 1.22: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Formats: New Call Center Agents (Emerging Markets Groups)
  • Figure 1.21: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Formats: New Call Center Agents (EU Groups)
  • Figure 1.23: Average Number of Hours Spent Training New Hires, by Activity: US Medical Information Teams
  • Figure 1.24: Hours Spent Training New Hires, by Activity: US Medical Information Teams
  • Figure 1.25: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: New Hires (US Medical Information Teams)
  • Figure 1.26: Average Number of Hours Spent Training New Hires, by Activity: EU Medical Information Teams
  • Figure 1.27: Number of Hours Spent Training New Hires, by Activity: EU Medical Information Teams
  • Figure 1.28: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: New Hires (EU Medical Information Teams)
  • Figure 1.29: Number of Training Hours for New Hires, by Activity: Emerging Markets Medical Information Teams
  • Figure 1.30: Percentage of Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: New Hires (Emerging Markets Medical Information Teams)
  • Figure 1.31: Average Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: US Call Center Teams
  • Figure 1.32: Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: US Call Center Teams
  • Figure 1.33: Percentage of Annual Ongoing Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: US Call Center Teams
  • Figure 1.34: Average Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: EU Call Center Teams
  • Figure 1.35: Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: EU Call Center Teams
  • Figure 1.36: Percentage of Annual Ongoing Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: EU Call Center Teams
  • Figure 1.37: Hours of Annual Ongoing Training, by Activity: Emerging Markets Call Center Teams
  • Figure 1.38: Percentage of Annual Ongoing Training Hours Dedicated to Specific Activities: Emerging Markets Call Center Teams

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

  • Figure 2.1: Key Performance Indicators: All Call Centers

Benchmarking Key Performance Indicators for Call Centers

  • Figure 2.2: Key Performance Indicators: US Call Centers
  • Figure 2.3: Key Performance Indicators: EU Call Centers
  • Figure 2.4: Key Performance Indicators: Emerging Markets Call Centers
  • Figure 2.5: Inbound Calls per Month at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies
  • Figure 2.6: Inbound Calls per Month at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies
  • Figure 2.7: Inbound Calls per Month: EU and EM Call Centers
  • Figure 2.8: Inbound Calls per FTE per Month at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies
  • Figure 2.9: Inbound Calls per FTE per Month at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies
  • Figure 2.10: Inbound Calls per FTE per Month: EU and EM Call Centers
  • Figure 2.11: Outbound Calls per Month: US Call Centers
  • Figure 2.12: Outbound Calls per FTE per Month at US Call Centers
  • Figure 2.13: Response Turnaround Time (in Hours) at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies
  • Figure 2.14: Response Turnaround Time (in Hours) at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies
  • Figure 2.15: Response Turnaround Time (in Hours) at EU and EM Call Centers
  • Figure 2.16: Abandonment Rates (as a Percentage) at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies
  • Figure 2.17: Abandonment Rates (as a Percentage) at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies
  • Figure 2.18: Average Hold Time (in Minutes) at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies
  • Figure 2.19: Average Hold Time (in Minutes) at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies
  • Figure 2.20: Average Hold Time (in Minutes) at EU and EM Call Centers
  • Figure 2.21: Customer Satisfaction (as a Percentage) at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies
  • Figure 2.22: Customer Satisfaction (as a Percentage) at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies
  • Figure 2.23: Customer Satisfaction Collection Methods: All Call Centers
  • Figure 2.24: Customer Satisfaction Collection Methods: US Call Centers
  • Figure 2.25: Customer Satisfaction Collection Methods: EU Call Centers
  • Figure 2.26: Customer Satisfaction Collection Methods: Emerging Markets Call Centers

Align Budgets with Call Center Volume and Group Responsibilities

  • Figure 2.27: Total Budget for US Medical Information Teams: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies
  • Figure 2.28: Total Budget for US Medical Information Teams: Small and Device Companies
  • Figure 2.29: Total Budget for EU and EM Medical Information Teams
  • Figure 2.30: Percentage of Medical Information Budget Dedicated to All Call Center Activities: US
  • Figure 2.31: Percentage of Medical Information Budget Dedicated to All Call Center Activities: EU and EM
  • Figure 2.32: Single Call Center Budget for Top 10 and Top 50 Companies: US Groups
  • Figure 2.33: Single Call Center Budget for Small and Device Companies: US Groups
  • Figure 2.34: Single Call Center Budget for EU and EM Groups
  • Figure 2.35: Cost per FTE at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies
  • Figure 2.36: Cost per FTE at US Call Centers: Small and Device Companies
  • Figure 2.37: Cost per FTE at EU and EM Call Centers
  • Figure 2.38: Cost per Inbound Call at US Call Centers: Top 10 and Top 50 Companies
  • Figure 2.39: Cost per Inbound Call at Small and Device Companies: US Groups
  • Figure 2.40: Activities Outsourced by US Call Centers
  • Figure 2.41: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at US Groups: Answering Unsolicited Inquiries
  • Figure 2.42: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at EU and EM Groups: Answering Unsolicited Inquiries
  • Figure 2.43: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at All Companies: Adverse Event Reporting
  • Figure 2.44: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at All Companies: Patient Adherence
  • Figure 2.45: Percentage of Activity Outsourced at All Companies: Trial Recruitment
  • Figure 2.46: Percentage of Call Center Activity Outsourced at All Companies: Internal Literature Requests
  • Figure 2.47: Frequency of Call Center Vendor Audits
  • Figure 2.48: Frequency of Call Center Vendor Audits, by Region

Receiving and Responding to Medical Information Requests

  • Figure 3.1: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: All Companies
  • Figure 3.2: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: US Groups
  • Figure 3.3: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: EU Groups
  • Figure 3.4: Activities Conducted by Medical Information Call Centers: Emerging Markets Groups

Call Center Processes for Receiving Medical Information Requests

  • Figure 3.5: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel (US)
  • Figure 3.6: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: Top 10 (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.7: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: Top 50 (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.8: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: Small and Device Companies (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.9: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel (EU)
  • Figure 3.10: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: EU
  • Figure 3.11: Percentage of Medical Information Requests Received, by Channel: Emerging Markets
  • Figure 3.12: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Top 10 and Top 50 (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.13: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Small and Device Companies (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.14: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Top 10 and Top 50 (EU Groups)
  • Figure 3.15: Percentages of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Small Companies (EU Groups)
  • Figure 3.16: Percentages of Medical Information Inquiries Relating to a Specific Product Topic: Emerging Markets Groups
  • Figure 3.17: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Top 10 and Top 50 (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.18: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Small and Device Companies (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.19: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Top 10 and Top 50 (EU Groups)
  • Figure 3.20: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Small Companies (EU Groups)
  • Figure 3.21: Percentage of External Inquiries Placed By Specific Internal Stakeholders: Emerging Markets Groups
  • Figure 3.22: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Placed by Specific Stakeholders: Top 10 and Top 50 (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.23: Percentage of Medical information Inquiries Placed By Specific Stakeholders: Small and Device Companies (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.25: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Placed By Specific Stakeholders: Small Companies (EU Groups)
  • Figure 3.24: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Placed By Specific Stakeholders: Top 10 and Top 50 (EU Groups)
  • Figure 3.26: Percentage of Medical Information Inquiries Placed By Specific Stakeholders: Emerging Markets Groups
  • Figure 3.27: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Top 10 and Top 50 (US Groups)

Processing and Responding to Customer Requests

  • Figure 3.28: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Small and Device Companies (US Groups)
  • Figure 3.29: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Top 10 and Top 50 (EU Groups)
  • Figure 3.30: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Small Companies (EU Groups)
  • Figure 3.31: Response Methodologies to Medical Information Requests, by Channel: Emerging Markets Groups

Medical Information Call Center Profiles

  • Figure 4.1: Company 3: Call Center Background
  • Figure 4.2: Company 3: Call Center Resources and KPIs
  • Figure 4.3: Company 3: Call Center Inquiries
  • Figure 4.4: Company 9: Call Center Background
  • Figure 4.5: Company 9: Call Center Resources and KPIs
  • Figure 4.6: Company 9: Call Center Inquiries
  • Figure 4.7: Company 19: Call Center Background
  • Figure 4.8: Company 19: Call Center Resources and KPIs
  • Figure 4.9: Company 19: Call Center Inquiries
  • Figure 4.10: Company 33: Call Center Background
  • Figure 4.11: Company 33: Call Center Resources and KPIs
  • Figure 4.12: Company 33: Call Center Inquiries
  • Figure 4.13: Company 39: Call Center Background
  • Figure 4.14: Company 39: Call Center Resources and KPIs
  • Figure 4.15: Company 39: Call Center Inquiries
  • Figure 4.16: Company 44: Call Center Background
  • Figure 4.17: Company 44: Call Center Resources and KPIs
  • Figure 4.18: Company 44: Call Center Inquiries
  • Figure 4.19: Company 59: Call Center Background
  • Figure 4.20: Company 59: Call Center Resources and KPIs
  • Figure 4.21: Company 59: Call Center Inquiries
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