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Adding value with Medical Information
I was co-presenting at a medical information training day some months ago and one of the topics under discussion was how you, as a member of the medical information team, can add value to the company. The discussion focused primarily on the internal value of medical information to colleagues, which is of course the recognition a lot of us strive for. We all want to be respected and feel that our role within the company is important.
Recently, our medical information team received a thank you card in the post from a member of public. The patient was an elderly woman who was quite poorly and was having trouble sourcing one of the products we deal with. On the day she called, she was tearful and desperate. Our team went the extra mile to assist and she was holding the product within 48 hours. Inside her thank you card was a long, hand written letter of profound thanks and spiritual blessings. It was heartfelt (after all, how many of us take the time to handwrite a letter these days) and made us all feel fuzzy and warm for the rest of the week.
It got me thinking that adding value doesn’t just have to occur inside the company, but is equally important outside the company as well. The Medical Information team are often a company’s first line of communication and therefore present the first impression the caller may have of your organisation. On this occasion, our interaction required the collaborative efforts of the company, the distributor, the pharmacist and the patient. On these occasions, our reach and the impression we give extends beyond the standard question and answer phone call.
Today’s technical advances have increased our productivity and added to our very busy schedules, so we’re in a constant state of perpetual forward movement. It’s important to take time to slow down and remember that members of the public are often elderly and at times vulnerable. We’re all headed there and it could be you or I making that call in years to come.
Medical information professionals need to be individuals for whom patient care is of paramount importance and whose interaction with callers, professional or public, is one of genuine interest and concern. Medical information staff need to be professional, efficient and willing to take the time to listen and care.
Whilst the ABPI Code may provide limitations on the extent of the clinical interaction with members of the public, it should never affect the quality of the service provided to the caller. Every interaction with medical information should be a positive one and callers should feel reassured that their interaction with you is always a pleasure.
However, to enable the medical information team to satisfy the customer extends to good co-operation from the client we represent and thankfully the interaction on this occasion was very positive.
It’s always good to get praise from a client, but at times it can mean even more when that feedback comes directly from the caller themselves.
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