102 American Medical Association (AMA) board certified orthopedic surgeons were randomly selected from a list of 16,100 surgeons to participate in a self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) featured on the internet. Upon completion of the SAQ, 10 of the participants were selected to participate in a follow-up depth interview conducted via the telephone.
The purpose of the study is to provide information on the relative influence of general product attributes and marketing activities, in order to help companies better understand what drives surgeon preferences.
The results feature a summary of surgeons' perceptions regarding the relative influence of various considerations in determining product preferences. A conjoint analysis provides the relative importance, as well as the magnitude of influence for featured factors. Also included are the surgeons' perceptions of the considerations most important in determining patient satisfaction with treatments.
The results of the data analyses identify the considerations most influential in influencing surgeons’ preferences, as well as the determinants of patient satisfaction. The surgeons are clear in identifying safety and efficacy as the primary determinants driving preference. Assuming perceived equality of competing products on safety and efficacy, the data reveal a number of additional discriminating factors driving preferences.
The information has applicability to product development, research & development, communications, advertising, sales, mergers & acquisitions, and other business functions.
Sample Design & Distribution
Measurement & Data Collection Design
How to read this report
Executive Summary & Key Findings
I. Orthopedic Surgeons influential product considerations
a. Orthopedic Surgeons product selection influences
i. Training required to complete the procedure
ii. Patient request for specific treatment / Product / Brand
iii. Manufacturer of equipment
iv. Size of incision required
v. Ease of use / Skill required
vi. Time required to complete procedure
vii. Time required to return to limited functional activities (mobility/work)
viii. Cost to the hospital
ix. Patient satisfaction with short-term effect
x. Patient satisfaction with long-term effect
xi. Speed of recovery
xii. Patient post-operative comfort
xiii. Patient cost
xiv. Cost to the surgeon
xv. Published clinical data on efficacy
xvi. Surgeon satisfaction with post-operative trauma
xvii. Published clinical data on safety
xviii. Intra-operative complication rates
xix. Post-operative complication rates
xx. Patient co-morbidities
xxi. Patient lifestyle
b. What factors are driving the influences of orthopedic surgeons to choose products
II. Conjoint Analysis
Importance of product considerations
III. Patient Satisfaction
What considerations are most important to the orthopedic surgeons patient
i. Duration of the treatment effect
ii. Magnitude of the treatment effect
iii. Cost of the treatment
iv. Length of physical therapy
v. Intensity of physical therapy
vi. Lifestyle changes required
About the Author
Table of Figures
A-1 Geographical Spread of Respondents
Table 1-1 Influences on Product Selection
Figure 1-1 90% Confidence Intervals of Average Considerations Scores
Figure 1-2 Influences on Product Selection – Standardized Values
Figure 1-3 % Selecting Factors Influencing Product Preferences
Table 1-2 Derived Factors and Considerations
Figure 2-1 % Selecting Factors Influencing Product Preferences
Table 2-1 Factors and Levels
Figure 2-2 Factors Selected Influencing Product Preferences Segmented by Number of Open Procedures Performed
Table 3-1 Importance of Considerations
Figure 3-1 Influences on Customer Satisfaction – Standardized Values
Orthopedic surgeons are clear in their agreement regarding the importance and influence of safety and efficacy. Safety is evident in the importance attributed to limited complications and efficacy is the latent factor driving both surgeon and patient satisfaction.
“Are they safe, efficacious and do they accomplish something for the patient?"
The critical value drivers can be grouped into four main areas. In descending order of influence they are:
-Safety & Satisfaction
It is only when safety and efficacy are perceived to be equitable that other considerations begin to influence preferences. Among this “second tier” of influential considerations are ease of use, cost/contracting and sales reps.
“The first thing that comes to mind is a product's ease of use. I've used other products where some of the pieces don't fit together. I don't use these products anymore.”
“Lots of things---but the sales rep is key. Also having products that offer enough options to deal with complications (hip and knee), having a product that works well. Ease of use and cost too. “
Patient and surgeon satisfaction are primarily a function of the efficacy of the product and treatment. Surgeons indicate that patients will be satisfied if the long term treatment effect and duration of effect meet the needs/expectations of the patient.
Sales, marketing, communications will find increased market opportunities if safety and efficacy are emphasized. In an environment where competitive products are not differentiated on safety and efficacy, the most influential discriminating consideration should be emphasized without jeopardizing the safety and efficacy perceptions.
Product development, acquisitions and strategic planning should keep safety and efficacy at the forefront in their efforts. Products that excel in other areas, but are challenged on safety and efficacy, will lose out to competitors with greater safety and efficacy.
“If it measurably affects patient care, longevity, and decrease morbidity in the hospital -- this is good as well. If the company doesn't have a good product, they might as well go home, because it's going to be recognized immediately. You can't fool the people - it wouldn't last.”