Today, we answer a common question we get here at Medical Sales Authority. What do medical device reps do in the OR? Many patients are surprised to learn how common it is for industry professionals to join the healthcare team during procedures. Surgeons benefit from industry support on the latest medical device equipment and technology.
Are Medical Device Sales Reps In The Operating Room?
Yes, medical sales reps join the surgical team to support cases in the OR. According to the AMA “Manufacturers of medical devices may facilitate their use through industry representatives who can play an important role in patient safety and quality of care by providing information about the proper use of the device or equipment as well as the technical assistance to physicians.” Doctors and healthcare systems need the support of highly trained manufacturer representatives for new technology that is rapidly changing. Some argue that medical sales reps have a conflict of interest and complain about the limited oversight and scrutiny of sales reps. Though, the presence of reps in the OR is a standard part of the healthcare industry. Others voice concern that sales representatives increase the overall cost of healthcare. This argument is overstated. The important thing is that surgeons find reps valuable and choose to have them available to support cases.
What Is The Purpose Of Reps In The OR?
- Hospitals cannot afford to stock extensive inventories.
- Sales reps offer technical assistance and product expertise for the surgeons, anesthesiologists, OR nurses, scrub techs, and surgical assistants.
- A medical device rep can help support the tech and assistants so they can perform their job optimally.
- Time is of the essence during surgery. A sales rep is able to troubleshoot issues and provide real time answers during cases.
- Procedures require real time industry support to operate the equipment, unlike pharmaceuticals where new information can be gleaned from the literature.
- A med rep is available to coach the surgical team on best practices with the product. Remember, reps see more procedures than anyone.
Related: Do Medical Sales Reps Wear Scrubs?
Operating Room Etiquette Sales Reps
- Remember it is always about the patient.
- Always properly scrub in.
- Be compliant with HIPPA policies.
- Ask questions beforehand.
- It is good to ask permission before making changes.
- Be up to date on vendor credentialing (Blood borne pathogens, OR protocol, HIPPA compliance, COVID vaccine, etc.)
- Remember sales reps have reputations to protect as well.
- Reps can’t touch the patient or anything that’s sterile.
- Get use to being patient and waiting around. Find a way to be productive with this time.
- Interesting take from a podiatrist on how to conduct yourself in the OR
Day In The Life Of A Medical Device Representative
Related: Is Medical Device Sales Hard?