Should There Be a Place for Sales Reps in the Surgery Room?

Written by on 2/13/2017 3:00 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Patients undergoing surgery may have hosted an unwelcome visitor. Nationwide, sales reps are commonly present in operating rooms during procedures, where they are looking out for their interests and even playing a role in surgeries. Do doctors have the employee management tips necessary to deal with these risky sideliners?

Who’s “assisting” the surgery?
Far from common knowledge and possibly one of the best kept secrets in healthcare, these sales reps, who often have no medical training, earn a living encouraging doctors to purchase and use their company’s medical devices – whether or not they’re necessary.

A “fixture” in the OR during orthopedic procedures
Going far beyond Big Pharma, device reps are often bedside throughout the operation. Some unfortunate doctors even consult them for medical advice, going so far as to ask for step-by-step how-to’s mid-procedure.

What are doctor’s saying “yes” to?
The latest and most expensive replacement parts – without knowing whether they're safe or reliable. For example: Nearly 100,000 DePuy hip replacement sets were coerced into use by reps, which just 5 years following FDA approval were recalled as defective (and requiring another surgery for replacement).

Interesting “employee management tips”
Making a frightening statement, the head of one industry group for such devices told the Washington Post a few years prior that such devices could not be implanted and used safely without such reps “guiding” doctors. (So much for medical school and training.)

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