How Physician Liaisons Can Use Data to Support COVID Recovery Efforts

While many hospitals across the county have resumed elective cases, many are still in the process of mapping out their recovery plan. Whether your physician liaisons have been pulled out of the field or placed on furlough over the last 6 weeks due to COVID, now is the time to leverage the relationships they have cultivated to plan ahead – not just for relaunch, but for resetting for future growth. 

At Marketware we believe in data enabled outreach. If we have limited time and resources, how can we use data to focus deeper on those relationships and conversations that will help yield the strongest or quickest results? This can be especially true when it comes to developing a plan for relaunching elective services. By accessing and reviewing your internal data and/or external claims data and combining those insights with the intelligence you are collecting from field, you can help your organization be more focused in choosing the right partners to relaunch with going forward.


Internal Data

When it comes to identifying proceduralists as partners and understanding what backfill volumes exist, I often point clients to their internal data dashboards. This data can identify your top procedural partners – both from a volume and revenue standpoint. Similarly, you can use trending data to understand these providers’ typical monthly averages and how these have changed since March. It can also be helpful to review these changes compared to the same timeframe for the prior year as this can help you ‘guesstimate’ which providers may have a larger potential for backfill. 

This can also help liaisons plan some confirmation questions about what patients may be waiting for care.  Liaisons can use this data to probe more about the proceduralist’s current new patient volumes and how this impacts the number of cases they are projecting through the remainder of the year.


External Claims Data

I guide my clients to review any access they have to external claims data to help guide which provider conversations to prioritize. This data can be used to develop exploratory questions. For example, external claims data can provide insights into a providers’ typical patient population – including age range, diagnosis mix, and origin. This helps a liaison to understand which providers may be serving more ‘at risk’ populations or markets that have been more severely impacted by COVID-19 – and may need more time or resources to restart. 

External claims data can also help a liaison confirm which proceduralists have an affinity to towards their organization over others in the market.  While we all want to be a hospital partner for all willing proceduralists, if my competitors are relaunching their services around the same time as mine, I know that those with an affinity towards my organization will be more inclined to serve as an advocate and help build their patients’ confidence in my plan to resume services in a safe manner.


Field Intelligence

Of course, the most important data a liaison can bring to the table is the field intelligence they have been collecting by phone or virtual meetings. This includes not only the impact COVID-19 has had on their patients and practice thus far, but the efforts they have made to remain connected to new or existing patients (i.e. implementation of telemedicine tools). 


With these three data points in hand, liaisons are well poised to reach out again to the top proceduralists identified to confirm how many cases the provider has cancelled according to the OR schedule, what additional cases may have been placed on hold over the last 60 days and any specific resources or support the physician or her office team needs to proceed.  For example, will the OR team need to adjust or expand their block to accommodate the case backlog and, if so, is the provider willing to work outside of his or her block temporarily? 

In conversation, you may discover your organization will need to add equipment or supplies to create a safer environment for the provider, staff, or patients. Depending on any concerns shared, a liaison may need to facilitate a virtual planning meeting between the provider and their operations team to confirm the hospital’s plans to safely resume services. It’s important that the liaison also ask practices what percentage of patients appear willing and ready to have surgery. If the provider’s patient population is being more cautious, the practice may need support with patient messaging about how the practice and your organization are partnering to safely get them the care and relief they need.

Of course, collecting the field intelligence is just part of the process. Being able to package those insights in a meaningful way is what can set a liaison apart as a member of the task force. 

Look for our next blog which will cover how to leverage your PRM to collect and report your COVID field intelligence. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more, feel free to reach out to me or schedule a free, customized demo of our product growth suite.