SK&A Announces Results of Physician Access Preferences
October 12, 2010
NEARLY HALF OF PHYSICIANS REQUIRE OR PREFER APPOINTMENTS TO BE SCHEDULED
Irvine, CA – SK&A, today announced results of its ongoing survey of U.S. medical offices to determine the policies for allowing pharmaceutical and other medical industry sales-rep access to physicians and other prescribers. The Physician Access survey is based on completed telephone interviews with more than 237,000 medical sites representing 680,000 physicians.
While other similar studies and services are based on sample surveys, projections and manufacturer-based data, SK&A has invested in a comprehensive, ongoing survey to directly profile every U.S. medical office and record their exact policies for contact with sales reps. SK&A surveys its Office-Based Physician database every six months from its Research Center in Irvine, California.
After three years of measuring access to physicians, what has emerged is a portrait of doctors and their willingness to interact with sales representatives. Nearly half of the physicians surveyed say they require or prefer appointments to be made by reps prior to one-on-one meetings, while about 23 percent of doctors refuse to see sales reps at any time at any of their practice locations.
According to the survey, the percentage of doctors who will not allow access unless an appointment is scheduled increases measurably when their practices are owned by hospitals or health systems. In many cases, the appointment must be made through a headquarters location rather than the practice site itself.
"As prescribers become busier and less accessible, understanding physician access preferences is critical to successful sales and marketing resource planning, and execution," said SK&A’s Dave Escalante, Vice President of Data and Information Solutions. "The information available from SK&A’s up-to-date profiling of physician access gives sales and marketing organizations deeper insight, enabling them to target more efficiently while not jeopardizing important relationships."
Managing sales-rep calls is a significant part of the physician work week. According to the latest findings of the Physician Access study, most doctors (98%) report their offices are visited by up to 20 industry reps per week or one rep an average of every two hours.
Other significant trends found within the survey include:
- Specialty physicians are less likely to grant sales reps access than general practitioners. The top-three most accessible physician areas are allergists/immunologists (4.2% no-see rate), orthopedic specialists (5.1%) and diabetes specialists (7.6%). The least accessible physicians are diagnostic radiologists (92.1% no-see rate), pathologists (91.8%) and neuroradiologists (90.6%). The access rates for these specialists have remained constant for the last two bi-yearly reporting periods.
- Offices with fewer patients seen daily are less likely to see sales reps. Sites with a daily patient volume of one to 10 have a no-access rate of 28.9 percent, while those with a daily patient volume of 31 to 40 have a 13.4 percent no-access rate. Sites that are less busy are often staffed by one physician who is not able to take a break from patient appointments to visit with industry sales reps.
- Health system- and hospital-owned offices are less likely to grant sales reps access. Health system- and hospital-owned offices have no-access rates of 30.8 percent and 29.6 percent, respectively. Non-health system and hospital-owned offices have no-access rates of 21.4 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively.
- Larger practices are less likely to grant sales reps access. Offices with one to two physicians have a no-access rate of 13.3 percent while offices with 10 or more physicians have a no-access rate of 42.2 percent.
- Physician offices in the Western U.S. are least likely to allow sales reps access, with the highest no-access rate of 28.4 percent. The South had the lowest no-access rate of 19.4 percent.
The Physician Access report is available to help healthcare marketers and sales executives in appointment-setting and connecting personally with physicians. SK&A has compiled access data at the physician level and offers custom databases selectable by geography, specialty, office size, patient volume, practice ownership and other variables upon request.
Editor’s Note: For a copy of the summary findings for publication, please contact Jack Schember, SK&A Director of Marketing, at 800-752-5478, ext. 1259.
SK&A is a leading provider of healthcare information solutions and research. SK&A, as part of a global OneKey® offering, researches and maintains contact and profiling information for over two million healthcare practitioners, including 800,000-plus prescribers. SK&A also offers the only 100-percent telephone-verified database of email addresses of U.S. prescribers and professionals working at active healthcare sites. SK&A’s customers include many of America’s most recognized healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceutical companies.
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