There is talk in the medical device industry about a rep-less sales model to help hospitals reduce costs associated with medical devices. In the current environment, it’s not uncommon to find a rep in the operating room during surgery, providing advice and assisting the surgeon and staff with a complex procedure. Surgeons rely on these device reps for their technical expertise and product knowledge. But that landscape is changing in hospitals around the country in an effort to cut costs.
A recent medreps.com (@medrepscom) article noted that the implementation of the new rep-less model at Loma Linda University Medical Center (@lomalindahealth) has the hospital paying just 50% of the market price for implants, and representatives of the hospital say the program is going well. Regardless of the fact that reps account for a small fraction of the implant cost, this new trend has both medical device companies and their reps concerned, and rightfully so. That said, in a January 2015 article by Brian Johnson at Mass Device (and summarized by Fierce Medical Device) Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo dismissed the rep-less model. Lobo believes reps play a critical advisory role in the OR and promotes an increasingly specialized sales force to improve the level of knowledge reps bring to procedures. And while the medreps.com article points out that the sky isn’t falling quite yet, hospitals are piloting the new model to test the cost savings and implications in the OR.
At eRounds we have some observations on the surgeon/device representative relationship.
As the industry continues to explore this potential model, eRounds has seen a distinct uptick in calls from medical device companies and hospitals who understand the value that an image sharing and collaboration platform can deliver. With eRounds, device reps are empowered to share their knowledge, expertise and advice in a secure cloud-based image sharing and collaboration platform. Reps can share detailed images, step-by-step processes, and guides with hospital staff and collaborate on complex surgeries where their devices are being implanted. While these private communities between device companies/reps and hospital staff don’t directly replace the tried and true, on-site model, it is delivering a new and innovative solution that supports the changing landscape.
We are interested to hear your thoughts on this trend and how you see this playing out over the coming months/year. Tweet to us @team_erounds, comment on Facebook or send me an email email@example.com .