international healthcare market research

Need to Improve Your Quantitative International Healthcare Research?

Recruiting, fielding, and data collection in quantitative market research for healthcare is complicated, and when you are working internationally, it becomes particularly challenging. Whether you are on the client or vendor side, here are ten tips to make your international quantitative healthcare research successful – and easier.

Here are 10 Must-Know Tips

    1. Organization is key! The number of moving parts increases with each new country or language you So, spending the time it takes to practice your highest-level organization skills will pay off with less confusion and wasted time.
    2. Have a global survey version in your primary language as your guide. The ideal way to run a multinational quantitative healthcare project is to have a single document in your primary language with all logic and additional questions by country in one master document – this will be your project guide. That does not mean you have one version in English for the U.S., another in English for the U.K., one in both French and English for Canada, one in French for France, and so on. Having individual documents per country can cause cost overruns, programming delays, and constant confusion and uncertainty. We suggest having one master document with everything in it for all countries; this simplifies programming and makes the data files uniform in the end.
    3. Simplify translation. Program the guide version of the survey in your primary language and have it approved before sending the survey out for This helps avoid having to update each language version when there are changes.
    4. Track status by country. Once you start fielding, timing will vary by country and field partner, which can quickly become unmanageable. We recommend that for each country you track the timing of translations, client testing, launch dates, etc.
    5. Don’t over-translate. Make sure to clearly mark what needs translation and what doesn’t in the survey, for example, programming This will be helpful when testing surveys that are not in your primary language and will save on translation expenses.
    6. Maintain version control. If there are multiple versions of a survey, make sure to label which document is final and approved to avoid any issues later (like sending the wrong version out for translation).
    7. Avoid jargon and slang. If using international partners for fielding the survey, in which you may not share primary languages, be extremely careful to avoid jargon and slang. Don’t be afraid to ask each person if they understand what needs to happen and put everything in writing in case your partner is more fluent in reading your primary language than speaking it.
    8. Get confirmation. Confirm the feasibility of the sample and project specifications in advance for each country. For international projects, review results daily and alert the client immediately if any issues arise in screening or fielding the It is important to confirm feasibility and project specs per country.
    9. Keep time zones in mind. If you are in the U.S., try to prioritize checking your international projects’ status first thing in the morning. Due to time zone differences, you may only have a few morning hours where you and your international partners are both in the office and available to communicate.
    10. Consider local holidays and vacation seasons.  Just as we consider local U.S. holidays and high vacation seasons before fielding a survey, check with your international partners for any holidays that will happen during fielding. This will help you plan for and possibly avoid delays in data collection.

Healthcare is a global industry, and the demand for international market research is increasing dramatically. Following these tips will help you save time, avoid mistakes, and save money. And if that makes your life a little easier and your business more successful, we think that’s a win-win!

Reckner Healthcare has over 30 years’ experience. Let us help you complete your next healthcare market research project. Call or contact us today!

*Click here to download this tip sheet in PDF format.