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Controlling the chaos as a device rep – Why my “system” stunk and yours might, too

Life as a device rep is primarily reactive and can be chaotic. You’re often the last person called or thought of in the process. I always loved when I’d proactively check if any cases had been added for me at my account and hear, “Oh yeah, we added this one and it’s scheduled for….30 minutes from now.. are you going to be here?” Life comes at you fast after hearing that. And you have to be prepared, or you lose.

After you change your pants, you probably start calling and texting frantically to the rest of your team. Now your at the mercy of everyone else helping you locate what you need (if they’re even able to take your call). If they’re not answering, you start checking all the different tools you might use to organize your business.

As a ortho rep, here are the tools I was using to manage my territory:

Phone Notes Kept track of random thoughts for various hospitals & surgeon preferences.
Excel Products & Pricing – created my own spreadsheet of all the products, numbers, and the relative discounts across all the hospital.
iBooks This is where I kept all the PDF’s (including my beautiful pricing sheet) of op-techs and relevant journal articles
Contacts I tried to get each hospital organized as much as possible in these with all the various numbers between SPD, Accounts Payable (for POs), OR Front desk, and then the various ORs that we commonly operated in.

Side note: The notes section of these contacts were a mess of different people and contacts at the hospital. Often, I just went back to the notes to manage these

Scannable App I used this to take pictures of my usage pages after the procedure. This was much more efficient than having stacks of old usage in my bag until the end the month. I didn’t use this to track anything other than to essentially have a centralized storage location of all my documents

This was helpful in locating and identifying discrepancies in usage. Also allowed for quickly re-sending usage to Accounts Payable when looking for POs at the end of the month.

–       Something to consider: transmitting usage forms with patient information included in the email is a breach of HIPAA.

Google Calendar Being in trauma, this was critical. Being in two different branches, everyone had their own process for managing these. Groups of calendars and procedures for scheduling them and/or inviting others when needing assistance.
Word Some of the accounts where we had inventory consigned, I created booklets to leave at the account for any associates to be able to use when resetting trays or locating items. These included pictures, packing slips/par level information, surgeon notes, etc
Binders I created these beauties for different hospitals where we had instruments consigned. These had laminated pictures of trays, inventory lists, and billing sheets.

That’s 8 off the top of my head, and I’m sure there were more. Here’s just a few problems with my “system”:

  1. There was no consistency – each hospital, surgeon, procedure had a different place/location housing the information I needed. When it came to crunch time, it would be frustrating and time-consuming sifting through these different platforms to find the info I needed.
  2. This “system” was specific to me. When a colleague came to help me out with coverage, I had to spend a considerable amount of time just helping them get to the OR (we all know how complicate that can be anymore!)
  3. It’s not scalable. So much of what went on at each hospital was dependent on my knowledge. Even if I was away on vacation, I still spent a considerable amount of time on the phone explaining how to do various tasks. Upon return, I always had a few days of clean-up to get things back in order.

If your territory is completely dependent on you to run properly, you’re probably working yourself into an early grave, while also limiting your growth potential.

You need to control the chaos. When you’re using a platform like Surg.io, you could filter your calendar to see where all of those tubs are at in real-time and make a quick and informed decision.

Centralizing your tools allows you to take control on your side of the OR. Organizing your business more effectively before and after procedures. This centralized system that allows you to filter and plan your schedule, review outstanding PO’s, analyze your product mix and sales trends, and more. Everything you need to work smarter. Even further, working on the same platform with the rest of your team takes everyone to the next level.

 

Here’s a case file to organize everything for your procedure before and after.

If you are interested in learning how you can easily get started doing this, I would be happy to show you how simple it is. Choose 5 of your surgeons, a couple hospitals, and however many manufacturers you want. I’ll personally walk you through setting up your basics to get you off and running. What do you have to lose, except a lot of wasted time and frustration? You stand to gain a more sustainable system that can actually help you be more successful.

Let’s talk:

jwertz@surg.io

480-426-1389

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Jeff Wertz

Former device rep that grew sick of antiquated systems and process' that made doing my job more difficult. Currently on the offensive to offer better solutions to healthcare suppliers & hospitals.

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