Medical Affairs professionals and Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) have traditionally been adept at connecting with other medical experts and stakeholders through tried and true awareness of the medical landscape. Such knowledge and intuition are always valuable, but MSLs shouldn’t discount their ability to leverage technology to identify new trends and interests. And, while technology can help you achieve more valuable scientific one-on-one exchanges, it can also help you formulate and execute your medical strategies as well. Here are six best practices to help you save time and achieve greater impact.
1. Know your audience When engaging with stakeholders it’s important to ask, what’s most important to the people I am trying to reach? Being able to not only know a stakeholder’s most influential and current work but how their scientific interests have evolved is critical to any valuable scientific exchange.
2. Know the Network For valuable exchanges to take place, another consideration is the work that is happening in an expert’s professional network. Analytics now make it possible to not just quickly retrieve an author’s latest article, but to retrieve her co-author’s or colleague’s latest congress presentation as well, giving you further talking points with which to base your exchange.
3. Divide and conquer It’s likely that you’re interested in unearthing information on more than one treatment modality or therapeutic area. It is also true that you will need to approach different experts for different initiatives. Whether that is a speaking engagement, adboard or clinical trial design, it is important to segment your experts so that you are getting the most out of everyone’s expertise.
4. Develop processes to ensure continuity in your data review What will you view, when, and how often? What will the outcomes of your review be? Scheduling and calendaring these types of activities can ensure that you’re staying on top of areas of current focus. Processes may vary by treatment and disease types, or by KOLs.
5. Create feedback loops It’s not enough to simply disseminate information. Having conversations around that information and gathering feedback from KOLs and others, can help identify potential process improvements, gaps, and areas of new interest.
6. Look toward the future While you want to be sure to be laser-focused on top-of-mind issues affecting experts today, you also need to have an eye toward emerging issues likely to impact them down the road. The technology you choose should be adaptable as scientific interest shifts, allowing you the opportunity to shift your engagement strategies along with it.
Technology can provide trusted data and enhance your productivity with analytics, but the work doesn’t stop there. Communication becomes key to ensuring that the relevant insights behind that data are conveyed to the right people in ways that will resonate. MSLs play an important role as connectors between their organizations and the communities they serve—healthcare providers and ultimately, patients.