Thought Leadership

September 18, 2020

Can Artificial Intelligence Safely Enable Field Personnel’s Use of Free Text

Eugene Vais

Today’s pharma-industry call notes systems almost universally use only static dropdown checklist
options while prohibiting free-text entries. And although many leaders think these dropdown-only
systems enhance compliance, they actually hamper it by failing to meet today’s standards for
organizational transparency. Indeed, dropdown call notes systems are in many respects a “head in
the sand” option. For compliance officers, they create a sort of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” scenario based on the false hope that since no non-compliant activity is being reported, no non-compliant activity is occurring.

With new advanced technology now available, it may be time for the biopharma industry to
reintroduce free-text call notes, then collect and analyze those notes using artificial intelligence systems to bolster compliance, improve business intelligence, and provide better support to field teams. When implemented correctly, free-text call notes systems can help organizations become more productive and more successful while simultaneously improving compliance.

This white paper provides a brief history of call notes, explains the initial move from free text to dropdown checkboxes, and makes the case for using artificial intelligence to reintroduce free-text call notes in a highly compliant manner.