Medical time management: The disruptive factor of pharmaceutical visits

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

In order to optimise their time management, general practitioners and specialists must also take into account visits from pharmaceutical representatives.

Contacts with consequences

A potential disruptive factor for the time management of physicians in private practice is the visiting activity of pharmaceutical representatives. Although the Corona pandemic has led to a decrease in contacts, only the intensity peaks have been cut.

Primarily unannounced visits or conversations of extensive duration are to be mentioned as time wasters here, practice owners are negatively affected not only by the loss of time but also by the interruption of their workflow, but also scheduled contacts without useful content.

Dominance of reminder advertising

In principle, the information provided to doctors by the scientific sales force is useful when it concerns new content, for example, on innovative preparation introductions, indication extensions, study results, but also invitations to symposia or specialist conferences.

But for the majority of visits, the focus is primarily on reminder advertising, i.e. information that is only of secondary relevance for doctors and could also be accessed at any time via neutral media on the internet. The question now is how doctors can best respond to this with their time management.

A simple procedure

The owner of an internal medicine practice has long taken the approach of asking all field staff who attend to him to announce the reason for their visit in advance by e-mail. In this way, he can decide whether the topic of the contact is so relevant to him that he will make his time available under the opportunity cost aspect.

His experience: more than two thirds of the visits are dropped by this procedure, because the reasons for the visit are too low-value.

In addition, according to his experience, this procedure has an extremely strong conditioning effect, because the employees very quickly recognise with which topics they get an appointment and with which they do not and then refrain from bothering the doctor’s time with unimportant things. If the pharmaceutical contacts are additionally bundled on a weekday within a time window, negative effects on the workflow are largely excluded.

What else GPs and specialists can do for the freedom of their time dispositions

The e-book „Free up your time! The most important best practices for physicians in private practice to create time freedom“ shows practice owners how they can optimise their time management holistically with easy-to-implement instruments and measures and open up substantial scope. To the e-book (German)…