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Understanding Medical Science Liaisons and Clinical Liaisons

Research organizations utilize a variety of medical professionals to conduct successful clinical trials. Two of those positions are a medical science liaison (MSL) and a clinical liaison. Both play a crucial role in keeping research organizations running smoothly, while taking on separate roles and responsibilities.

MSL Responsibilities

According to the Medical Liaison Science Society, a medical science liaison is a healthcare consulting professional within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, contract research organization (CRO), and other healthcare industries.

The main purpose of their role is to establish and maintain a peer-to-peer relationship with leading physicians at academic medical centers (AMCs) and clinics. With a more outwardly focused role, MSLs typically deal with products utilized by physicians already on the market. The MSL will take the information the organization learned during the clinical development process and will share it with the physicians. This establishes the relationship and gives physicians an understanding of how this new product benefits their patients. They can also get the opinion of those physicians on the product, and take those ideas back to the clinical development organization to further improve their invention.

MSLs also work very closely with sales teams; since they are the ones promoting the new product to potential buyers, the MSL has to train and educate the sales team on the product’s functions and the benefits they can bring to patients. A MSL typically works with physicians on a more clinical academic level, while the salesperson deals with the day-to-day sales processes. They also help oversee clinical trials that showcase how the product works as safely and effectively as it was shown to work in the original trials.

Clinical Liaison Responsibilities

A clinical liaison is another great asset to a medical facility or healthcare organization. They handle a variety of tasks related to communications and general growth, and provide a range of services, from technical handling of new patient processes to more general community outreach. Clinical liaisons are typically registered nurses or licensed practice nurses with strong clinical experiences. They serve as an advocate for patients during the pre-admissions process, continuing until the patient is discharged from the facility. A clinical liaison is responsible for maintaining communication between the healthcare provider and the patient, as well as ensuring the patient understands and consents to the procedures conducted. They have a significant role in evaluating patients by conducting a thorough review of the patient’s medical records, medications, treatment plans, and insurance availability. The main goal of a clinical liaison is to ensure the patients understand procedures, the paperwork, and the entire clinical research process

Teaming Up to Deliver High-Quality Clinical Trials

Both medical science and clinical liaisons are important members of a clinical research organization. While they serve different roles, their primary focus is to provide patients with the most reliable and high-quality clinical trial experiences possible.

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