Medical affairs team saves time and resources with pre-approved content packages to quickly answer medical inquiries
Vericel develops advanced therapies for sports medicine and severe burn care markets that use the patients’ cells to repair or restore damaged tissues or organs. The company’s medical affairs team needed a better way to manage their scientific information and answer medical information requests. Based on their marketing team’s success using Veeva Vault PromoMats for commercial digital asset management, they chose Veeva Vault MedComms for medical affairs. Vericel quickly implemented Vault MedComms for scientific content and medical inquiry management.
“The biggest advantage is that we capture all surgeon interactions and the specific insights we get from the field. To have all of that in one place, visible to the entire team, is very valuable.” Shelley Brown, Associate Director, Medical Affairs, Vericel
“I have a very satisfied and happy team. They have a complete record of previous medical inquiries and can immediately assemble a package for that surgeon. It has allowed us to be more efficient.” Shelley Brown, Associate Director, Medical Affairs, Vericel
Centralized Scientific Content Management
The medical affairs team’s primary goal was to create a centralized content management system for the company’s scientific content. Previously, they managed content and medical inquiries in shared folders, which was de-centralized and time-consuming to search.
Vericel migrated their scientific content to Vault MedComms, archiving older materials. Classifying content and using metadata allows for more effective and rapid retrieval. Medical affairs also leveraged Vault MedComms functionality to create new response packages to help automate their medical inquiry responses and increase content reuse.
Transforming Medical Inquiry Management
Having laid the foundation with their scientific content, the Medical Inquiry functionality within Vault MedComms was rolled out to further streamline their response processes. The medical affairs team has not only centralized their scientific content, but can also intake, manage, and respond to medical inquiries in the same system.
“The team now manages and distributes medical information from a single solution,” explains Craig Gassman, Vericel’s senior director of corporate information systems. “The connection between medical inquiry records and scientific information was the turning point for medical affairs. Medical inquiry records are now the backbone of our system.”
A Central Hub for Medical Affairs
Medical information workflows were tailored to meet Vericel’s specific business needs but also used “out-of- the-box” configuration to evolve their current processes. Vericel captures medical information requests through customer service calls, email submissions, and by reps adding surgeon inquiries. The cases are entered directly into Vault MedComms where the team accesses, prioritizes, and responds to inquiries.
Pre-approved standard response components were created to expedite answering similar requests for information. Automated cover letters and custom responses are easily created in the system to supplement pre-approved content as part of each individual response package.
“Answering inquiries is much more efficient with Vault MedComms. We use automated cover letters and easily search for content or use pre-approved response components,” explained Shelley Brown, Vericel’s associate director of medical affairs. “We send professional responses to our HCPs in a very simple and automated way.” Once a response package is approved, it is sent to the HCP recipient directly from the system. There is no need to export or download each package to manually email.
The feedback from their customers has been positive. “Our surgeons tell us how easy it is to read the information,” Brown explains. “They like the ability to download documents and that the information is in one package. Should they have further questions, they email us directly through a link that is included in the response package.” This feature allows the response owner to further manage follow-up communications with ease.
Strategic Insights with Reporting and Dashboards
Reports and dashboards in Vault MedComms give the medical affairs team real-time metrics for all medical inquiries such as current status, question topic trends, and which response content is most frequently used. Previously, reporting was a manual process that took weeks of searching through folders. The shift to automated reporting in Vault MedComms saves time and allows the team to primarily focus on responding to inquiries.
“Shifting to digital allowed us to focus more time on our primary responsibility—which is to provide medical information to customers,” stated Brown. “We created dashboards and graphs that are automatically generated for our executive leadership team, and that drove home how valuable Vault MedComms is for us.”
Using insights gained from the dashboards, Vericel can prioritize workloads, measure content use, and identify gaps where new standard medical information is needed.
An Evolving Medical Affairs Solution
The next phase for Vault MedComms will be to use the review and approval capabilities to speed the creation and approval process for new content. Additionally, there is an ongoing initiative to manage medical and related information as records whenever possible. Brown and Gassman continually seek out opportunities to transform “eDocs to Glass” meaning content that solely exists as information should be managed as records as opposed to Word documents. Conference summaries and related “shared knowledge” content are planned for transformations in 2021. The team leverages Veeva’s managed services to effectively bridge the gap between system- and subject-experts to reach their desired functionality outcomes.
The team is already thinking about how to leverage the workflow capabilities in Vault MedComms as they return to travel and expand to different therapeutic areas. Gassman explains their collaborative approach, “We encourage the open exchange of ideas and thoughts about operational tactics and strategies and how we want to leverage the system. Content and inquiry management needs and requirements continue to evolve for the team. We’ve established a baseline medical affairs data model and framework, and with the flexibility of Vault MedComms we will be able to evolve over time.”
“The connection between medical inquiry records and scientific information was the turning point for medical affairs. Medical inquiry records are now the backbone of our system.” Craig Gassman, Senior Director of Corporate Information Systems, Vericel