As a former physician relations manager, I can tell you that creating an approach for consistently tracking liaison activity can not only create points of accountability for liaisons and leadership, but also support stronger targeting and follow up. Specifically, I found that consistent tracking helped quantify the number of engagements my team was having in the field and improved the quality of those engagements, as well.
Using Liaison Activity Data to Understand Alignment
By being specific about the type of encounter (for example, a provider to provider meeting vs. item drop off) and the purpose of the liaison activity (retention vs. new program development), managers can use these data points to better understand the type of visits that tend to drive stronger engagement and alignment. By also tracking the topics discussed, managers can more effectively communicate to leadership how liaisons are supporting key organizational priorities from the field.
I suggest, to get “credit” for an encounter, liaisons should provide at least 2-3 sentences that demonstrate how they are approaching their visits as a trusted partner vs. a professional visitor. Their notes should also include a clear purpose, key data or details (including intel leadership would want to be briefed on) and any next steps for following up and following through.
At Marketware, we often share the acronym P.I.N. when teaching new users how to document their field encounters. I.E. What is the PURPOSE of the liaison activity/encounter? What INTEL did they collect? And what NEXT STEPS need to be taken to advance the relationship?
These notes in Ascend (our physician relationship management – PRM tool) might look like this:
- (PURPOSE) “Facilitated introduction today between Dr. Azzara and Dr. Arana to make sure Azzara knows about the new procedures we are offering locally starting next month.”
- (INTEL) “Azzara stated that he normally sees at least one of these types of patients a month in his practice and would be interested in having a local partner for those patients who want to stay closer to home.”
- (NEXT STEPS) “Check mutual patients within next 4-8 weeks; schedule time to stop by and secure any feedback I can share with Dr. Arana.”
When liaisons plan and reflect on their outreach visits using this simple PIN formula, they minimize the time needed to record activity from the field, demonstrate how they are advancing the relationship and provide the right level of detail needed to evaluate effectiveness.
More Tips for Effective PRM Documentation
In my next blog, I will outline the best practices and shortcuts I often share with my clients when it comes to discovering their most effective documentation strategy. These tips can help you (too) ensure stronger activity reporting, regardless of a liaison’s personality and workflow.