The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has issued a document offering guidance on the role that device, accessory, and pharmaceutical industry representatives play in endoscopy units and how best to achieve optimal interaction between physicians and industry for the benefit of the patient.
The Role of Industry Representatives in the Endoscopy Unit describes the range of endoscopy services, from basic, general procedures in ambulatory surgery centers to the most advanced, complex interventions performed at tertiary medical centers. It also describes the role of industry representatives in those venues.
Representatives of these companies have a role and a responsibility in facilitating the best care for patients, which includes effective interaction with physicians and staff, as well as ongoing technical proficiency, the ASGE says. The document addresses key aspects of this issue, including:
- hospital credentialing, certification in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and general code of conduct for vendors entering the endoscopy unit;
- types and functions of industry representatives, including sales reps, product specialists, scientific liaisons, development managers, and corporate leaders;
- advice on the level of training and expertise needed to support physicians and staff using their products;
- the importance of awareness of the Food and Drug Administration status of all new products and of any increased cost burden associated with them;
- the obligation of industry representatives to satisfactorily resolve any problems.
Highlights of the specific recommendations include:
- Appropriate training and education for representatives is essential.
- Representatives should be formally credentialed with the hospital or facility, including HIPAA and any other site-specific requirements.
- Representatives must comply with codes and local policies on interactions with healthcare professionals from the Advanced Medical Technology Association and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
- Knowledge of complications or adverse events should be shared openly by representatives with physicians/staff.
To access the guidelines, go to http://bit.ly/1EL2jee.