The Medical Affairs Professional Society Content Hub contains over 200 resources discussing the impact of medical affairs, yet defining and measuring this impact remains a challenge for many teams. Thought leader engagement is a vital component of medical affairs, but without a clear understanding of the intended impact, it is difficult to demonstrate the value and success of this kind of approach. In this blog post, we outline a solution to help medical affairs teams better define and measure their impact, with a focus on key opinion leader (KOL) engagement.
Define the impact: creating a scientific journey
To begin, clearly define the impact that medical affairs should be delivering. This should be the overarching goals that all teams in medical affairs are working toward. Generally, this is best expressed as a scientific journey—a set of beliefs that the medical community would have if they aligned with your scientific narrative, ultimately leading to guideline-based treatment decisions.
Start by defining the pillars of this journey and putting them in sequence. Although every treatment and disease will have its own pillars, a typical sequence might begin with “There is an unmet need,” progressing to “We need better clinical outcomes,” then “There is a class of treatment that leads to these outcomes,” and finally to the safety and efficacy of a particular treatment.
After sequencing these pillars, create anchor statements that describe what a healthcare professional would say if they were negatively aligned, partially aligned or fully aligned with each statement. This calibration process is crucial for assessing your organization’s progress.
Measuring KOL engagement impact
Once the scientific journey is defined, you can start exploring the contribution that KOL engagement has on these outcomes, which we call impact. Generally, it starts with prioritizing the right KOLs, HCPs and institutions with whom to engage (see our blog posting on the broadening segmentation that medical affairs is responsible for). Then, determine the adequate relationship level with these segments to engage with them frequently enough to make an impact. The frequency of engagement may vary among different segments.
Next, focus on how your team uses engagement opportunities. Assess the percentage of each segment that has been made aware of each pillar in your journey. Following this, accurately capture the alignment each HCP has with your scientific journey and determine the percentage of these experts for whom you understand the reasons for their beliefs, captured through insights collection (see our blog on insight generation).
Finally, consider evidence—the objective outcomes that these beliefs lead to. Depending on your team, you may have direct impact measures like changes in diagnosis, changes in the class of treatment used, or changes in tests used in diagnosis. Other measures may include advocacy aligned with your scientific narrative, such as what is said at the podium, Share of Scientific Voice which measures alignment with key provider’s science, or what is said online.
Planning and coaching metrics
In addition to measuring impact, capture planning and coaching metrics. These enable teams to coach their members and create a plan to achieve this impact. They include measuring the use of capacity, quality and outcomes (see our blog on coaching measures). Also, configure your CRM solution for easy reporting, and use a user-friendly reporting app like Kwello, a KOL social monitoring platform, to help tell your story and achieve your results.
By clearly defining the impact of medical affairs through a scientific journey and using a comprehensive strategy to measure KOL engagement, medical affairs teams can overcome the challenges of demonstrating their value and success. Using the right tools and processes, such as Kwello KOL Engagement & Insights, can further streamline this process and help teams save an average of 15 hours every month. Embracing this approach can unlock the full potential of KOL engagement initiatives and contribute to the overall success of medical affairs.
Contact us today to learn how we can help define and measure success for medical affairs teams.