POC Testing on the Rise?
Edition: September 2012 - Vol 20 Number 09
Sales reps realize the value of point-of-care testing (POC), and they are working harder than ever to keep their customers informed. From general practitioners to cardiologists, internists, OB/GYNs, endocrinologists, pediatricians and more, reps can continue to provide value to their customers by educating them on such benefits as ease of use, faster turnaround times, better and faster patient care decision making and more efficient standard-of-care implementation.
Today’s POC tests reflect several advances, including increased integration of wireless connectivity and data management, as well as enhanced polymerase chain reaction (PCR) capabilities and molecular diagnostic technology. In addition to influenza and iFOBT tests, reps should supply their physician customers with PT/INR tests, blood glucose tests, cardiac markers, and tests for blood gas, lipids (e.g., cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL), urinalysis and HbA1c.
Starting a discussion. Sales reps should ask their customers some probing questions, such as:
• “Doctor, tell me how you implement important patient care and standard-of-care protocols at your practice.”
• “What are the workflow trouble spots at your practice?”
• “Where in your practice do you encounter the greatest difficulties with patient compliance?”
Benefits of point-of-care testing.
• Improved patient outcomes.
• Increased patient compliance to therapies for chronic conditions and improved patient satisfaction with healthcare providers.
• Improved office workflow through increased testing efficiency.
• Quality and correlation to the central laboratory and laboratory test results.
• Changes to office workflow.
• Cost of equipment.
Responding to physician concerns. Sales reps should address their customers’ concerns by doing the following:
• Provide references from physician practices where point-of-care testing has improved workflow and lessened the demands on the healthcare practitioner and office staff.
• Provide sources demonstrating product quality, performance and correlation to recognized standards.
Helping physicians implement point-of-care testing. After determining the key areas of need, sales reps should assist their physician customers in determining which point-of-care device will best satisfy their needs. If a moderately complex system is required (versus a CLIA -waived device), reps can help customers understand the requirements for implementing a lab that performs moderate complexity testing. Reps may also direct physicians to distributors that can assist the office in setting up their lab, while also providing a source for the ancillary equipment required.
How much does POCT cost? Point of care testing should not be viewed as a significant profit generator. The true value of POC testing is the improvement in patient outcomes and patient satisfaction with their healthcare practitioner. Certain tests do generate sufficient revenue to provide a relatively quick return on investment, but the decision to initiate a POC testing program should not be based on financials alone.
Reimbursement. Reimbursement is always a major consideration when determining which point-of-care testing program to implement. Sales reps should respond factually and based on alignment with Good Promotional Practices guidelines (e.g., best collaborative practices for pharmaceutical and medical device sales, marketing and regulatory organizations).
Editor’s note: Repertoire would like to thank Roche Diagnostics Corp. for its assistance with this piece.