Introducing Reckner’s Respondent SustainabilitySM

As we prepare for a new decade of healthcare recruiting, we continually ask ourselves “how can we positively impact the future of healthcare MR?”

For us, the answer lies in Respondent SustainabilitySM.

Similar to environmental sustainability which emphasizes the importance of taking steps now to reverse negative consequences in the future, Reckner’s Respondent SustainabilitySM is about the long-term health of our research community.  We believe that by taking care of our panelists today, they will continue to participate in and take care of your studies in the future.

Reckner’s Respondent SustainabilitySM means:

– Understanding how little things impact big things, such as customizing “terminate” messages, so panelists leave the survey with a positive impression and are more likely to respond to the next survey invitation.

– Striving to be good stewards of the industry, for example ensuring Healthcare Professionals do not receive invites from multiple panels for a single study, so panelists are confident each invitation is unique and will take time to review each invitation.  

– Making short-term sacrifices to achieve long term gains, like offering fair honoraria right from the start, so panelists are motivated to respond to invitations, rather than waiting for a higher honorarium offer.

We think of Respondent SustainabilitySM in the same vein as the United Nations study which discussed how planting trees can help with climate change: 

If you’d like to learn more, check out our Respondent First blog which provides specific guidelines for how we care for our panelists.

Looking forward to working with you in 2020 and beyond.

Feasibility: Avoiding the Perils of Over Promising & Under Delivering

by Susan Phillippe, Director

Feasibility in healthcare recruiting is a promise. Whether it’s qual or quant research, feasibility is the first commitment we make to a client, and it’s the one that sets the foundation for the project. If we say a project is feasible, then that means we are committed to seeing it through to the end – no getting 70 completes out of a 100 and then telling the client they are on their own for the other 30.  An accurate feasibility assessment ensures that we do not over promise and under deliver.

In addition to getting an accurate view of the project, a feasibility discussion can be useful even before you submit a proposal to a client.  In fact, we’re happy to consult and be a sounding board at the study concept stage.  We’ll provide insights, such as sharing what we’ve done in that space previously, to help direct your client conversations, proposals and study designs.

Once you’re ready for the formal feasibility estimate, we’ll ask questions and possibly ask for a little more time:

First, the questions: 

  • What is the target audience? Be specific. If you need Neurologists who are Parkinson’s Disease treaters, please let us know. Provision of all the information from your RFQ in this regard is extremely helpful.  
  • What is the target quantity?  And, if there is a hard quota among the sub-groups, be sure to include that information.
  • What is the Incidence Rate (IR) within each target?  If this is unknown, we can help you estimate it!
  • Are there (end) client target list restrictions? If so, is the list available for feasibility assessment?
  • What is the length of time for the interaction?
  • What is the type of interaction (“straight” survey, chart audit, IDI)?

Second, the time:

  • Experiential perspective. With thousands of studies each year, we likely have past projects with similar qualifying criteria that can inform our feasibility estimate.
  • Historical polls.  We also maintain a library of past polls, which can assist in assessing feasibility.
  • Real-time polls.  For some proposals, we can conduct no-charge polls with our healthcare professional panel. This can be particularly helpful when there is limited historical information to draw from, such as with rare diseases.

Answering these questions and allowing extra time for our feasibility assessment can seem cumbersome, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  A thorough feasibility assessment helps ensure that you get the respondents you expected, and that your project doesn’t fall short.

The Power of Listening

by Kevin Rohm, Director of Sampling and Panel Services

During my “I know everything” teenage years, my mother would put me in place with her beloved quote “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”  While I am many years removed from my mother’s sage advice, I was recently reminded about the power of listening. 

We were struggling with a high number of partial completes on a study.  Our client and our team got together to figure out what was happening. It was painful on both ends – our client needed the study finished fast and wanted more survey invites sent out.  We knew the partial rate was way out of line but couldn’t figure out why.

Finally, FINALLY, we uncovered the problem (something to do with passwords, historical records and programming). But that’s not the point – the point is that it took both the client team and our team to figure it out. Together.

Yup, we had to listen, they had to listen, we all had to collaborate.  This was especially hard because of our tight timelines.  Everyone wanted action, not talking.

The MR industry is HIGH STRESS – timelines, client demands, project loads – all contribute to the need to push the project through without pausing to listen to each other. It’s here when listening is the most important thing we can bring to our partners.

The Recruiting Lessons I Learned from Running

by Michael Georgianna, Account Director

Hitting the pavement the other day, it occurred to me that training for a race is a bit like Qual recruiting.  I can’t just get up on race day and start running; I have to train all year long. Qual recruiting is the same way.  Our recruiters just don’t call physicians randomly, and physicians don’t just up and participate in qualitative research. We maintain positive relationships with our healthcare professionals consistently day in and day out, so they respond to our calls. Our recruiters and project managers are like the lean, weathered runners I see on the annual Broad Street Run. With an average tenure of 15+ years, our team has honed their craft through thousands of recruits.

During regular weekly runs, I work different skills – endurance, speed, hillwork, to optimize my training.  The Reckner team does the same and utilizes multiple methods to tailor the recruit for each specific study.

When running, I have to think ahead to the upcoming race: what will my strategy be, what will my starting pace be, where will I need to conserve my energy, at what point will I want to pull ahead?  Our team is always looking ahead to visualize the screener in action: are there gaps between what the client wants and what the screener says, what quota challenges might there be.

Even with all the prep – eating healthy, getting enough sleep, stretching – I sometimes find that despite doing everything right, I may pull a hamstring or sustain another type of injury. It’s frustrating, but I won’t be beaten. I might have to take a step back, rest, stretch, maybe do some PT in order to heal thoroughly.  And so it happens with recruiting – at times it may not go as quickly or as easily as we would like.  So, we have to pause and think strategically about what needs to be done, changed, add to the efforts, and continue on.

I’m pretty good sustaining a race, but then there’s the final leg: I’m near the finish line, but there’s an obstacle, maybe a steep hill or a cramp sets in. It’s the same with some recruits. We’ve pulled out all the stops, and we’re nearly there but there’s an obstacle, maybe we can’t find that last perfect recruit. But, like my race, we push through, because not finishing is not an option.

When I look back on my race day, I know that the whole process was about doing my personal best, the pride I have in my accomplishment. For my teammates at Reckner, their work day provides a similar sense of satisfaction. It’s our corporate culture to go above and beyond each day, for our clients, our teammates and ourselves.

4 Tips for Getting Sample for your DIY Survey

By Kevin Rohm, Director of Sampling and Panel Services

As a healthcare professional panel provider for 29 years, you could say we’ve seen it all!  So, it comes as no surprise that we have some strong opinions about what it takes to get the right sample for your DIY survey.  Here are our top 4 tips:

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Exclusion lists: what are they, why care?

by Nick Urda, Account Director

To most people, exclusion lists fall somewhere between the quantum void (aka, nothing) and the quark (aka, minutiae).  But – like physics – just because we don’t think deeply about them, doesn’t mean they aren’t important!

What & Why

An exclusion list is needed when multiple panel providers are brought in to support a study.  If a healthcare professional (HCP) receives a study invite through one panel provider and either terminates at some point or completes the study, then we do not want that respondent to be invited by another panel provider.  We add the respondent to the exclusion list and share the list with the other panel providers, so they do not send that same survey invitation to that same HCP.

Sidenote: Although Reckner typically completes 90% of studies with our own panel, when we do bring on a partner for our data collection, we provide an exclusion list.  And since we often serve as a partner for other provider’s studies, we also ask for exclusion lists, so that we can tailor the distribution of our invitations accordingly.

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Conducting Patient Chart Research with Healthcare Professionals

Patient chart research is challenging!  Healthcare professionals can be reluctant to participate.  Reminders are needed (repeatedly).  Physicians forget where they left off.

And yet, the demand for it is greater than ever.  Stop stressing.  We can help.

With nearly three decades conducting research with healthcare professionals, we know how to find the most engaged respondents and establish correct commitment expectations upfront.  And our veteran team of recruiters and project managers ensures your patient chart research runs smoothly from first recruit to final data. 

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