October 7, 2012 by astancilwomack
“Drug Reps” everyone loves them because they bring lunch, snacks, coffee, oh and of course whatever it is they are actually selling (prescriptions medications, medical devices, or medical services). Unfortunately, they are known for causing distractions, not only with the providers, but with all other staff as well. As managers how can we stop the distractions without eliminating representative use?
Of course you will need to take in account your specific issues with Representatives and the individual provider needs. For example, if a certain physician generally runs late, then you let the rep(s) know ahead of time that they may only get a signature and leave. We understand that the reps have something to sell, but if there is new information or a new product, then the rep should be prepared with literature.
There is also an option to only allow the representatives to make a lunch meeting. That way the provider(s) will be on a break from patients care. This is a win-win situation. The representative will get the necessary time to sell their product, and the provider will get a free lunch without compromising their schedules or their patient care.
Lastly, the issue regarding the distraction of your other employees will need to be handled by you, the manager. Let your employees know that they should not spend time worrying about socializing for extended periods of time (more than a minute or two). Most employees are only reciprocating the conversations because they don’t want to be rude. Train your employees on what to say, so they don’t feel uncomfortable, but that they can also get your office policy across. Make sure representatives know there are consequences, such as no longer doing business with your office, should they not follow you policies (whatever they may be).
Final thoughts? Is this an issue in your office? If so, what are the specific issues? How did you prevent them?