Optimizing Sales Strategy: HCP-HCO Affiliation Data Integration

“The pharmaceutical industry has shifted from a physician-centric approach to one that is focused on the network of organizations delivering healthcare services,” says Iordanis Kapanides, Associate Consultant at Stratos Consulting. “Financial pressures and the drive for value-based outcomes forced hospitals and other healthcare providers to consolidate, creating centralized, integrated delivery networks (IDNs) now controlling over 50% of prescription volumes. The influence exerted by these IDNs over physicians has had a significant impact on how pharmaceutical companies market their products.”

The emergence of IDNs requires sales teams to understand the connections—or affiliations—between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and healthcare organizations (HCOs) within these complex organizations. Accurate affiliation data is critical for pharmaceutical companies since it allows marketing and sales efforts to identify and target decision-makers within the IDNs.

“Affiliations between pharmaceutical companies and HCPs and HCOs are constantly changing,” explains Kapanides. “These fluctuations might be due to a doctor changing jobs or changes in billing or referral patterns. However, for a pharmaceutical company, the challenge is keeping track of HCP-HCO affiliations as they change to maximize the impact and return of sales initiatives. Having accurate affiliation data improves decision making and reduces the effort involved in resolving errors and issues stemming from bad data.”

Ensuring continuous access to reliable HCP-HCO affiliation data

“A mid-size, commercial-stage pharmaceutical company with one drug approved in 2015 submitted a new drug application within the same disease specialty,” states Kapanides. “The client was leveraging syndicated data sources for its prescription (Rx) data—including prescriber matching—but wanted to incorporate additional affiliation datasets to optimize their HCP data mapping. As a result, Stratos Consulting was invited in to help optimize the company’s sales strategy by ensuring continuous access to reliable HCP-HCO affiliation data.”

A management consulting group driving transformation through technology and automation, Stratos Consulting advises, implements, and enables life science businesses to scale their success by leveraging deep expertise and a proven methodology. Stratos consultants employ state-of-the-art technology to simplify and streamline processes, minimize redundancy, and empower people using a data-driven approach. Partnering with clients throughout the project lifecycle, Stratos strives to help accelerate innovation to improve the lives of the patients they serve.

“Mapping HCPs to HCOs is a challenge since there are many-to-many relationships with lots of different data points,” highlights Kapanides. “That meant integrating data from Definitive Healthcare and Komodo—two of the most comprehensive and accurate sources for data insights on the U.S. healthcare provider market—into their existing mappings. We also needed to automate the data loading and validation processes for each quarterly data refresh.”

Automating affiliation data integration, allocation, and validation

“Accurate data mapping is essential to determining which marketing and sales efforts will reach the right physicians based on their IDN, prescribing behavior, and lifetime prescribing value,” says Kapanides. “For us as consultants, that meant ensuring the integrity of the dataset as it flows from multiple data sources through to the client’s Tableau dashboards tracking sales data, behaviors, and trends.”

Working closely with the client’s Commercial Analytics Function, Stratos consultants documented the required processes and activities based on their desired future state, capturing a holistic view of the data as it flowed through each step of its journey.

“The project included automating the integration of the Definitive Healthcare and Komodo datasets into the client’s Amazon Redshift Database,” expands Kapanides. “Once that was done, we applied allocation and validation logic based on business rules defined by the organization, transforming the files using Informatica Cloud before ultimately exposing the datasets through Tableau. Finally, we automated the end-to-end process to eliminate the introduction of human errors into the data flow.”

Leveraging HCP-HCO data to achieve a competitive advantage

“By integrating the affiliation data and improving mappings,” reports Kapanides, “Stratos Consulting helped optimize the client’s sales strategy and execution, helping them to gain a competitive advantage. As a result, executives and sales teams now have seamless access to accurate data—through Tableau dashboards—for optimizing strategies based on market share, sales trends, and accurate HCP-HCO mappings.”

Based on the project’s initial success, the client engaged Stratos Consulting for ongoing business enablement and managed services, including post-project support and maintenance.

“Gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage in the pharmaceutical industry depends on the organization’s deploying essential business and data capabilities based on HCP-HCO insights,” states Kapanides. “Doing so allows you to discover new opportunities, make better resourcing decisions, and adapt quickly to market changes.”