Linda Dordevic is senior manager of the market research panel at MMIT. Following her career in medical event planning, Dordevic joined Zitter Health Insights in 2005 to help build the company’s market research panel. Zitter became a division of MMIT in 2019. Dordevic manages the panel recruitment team in addition to building the active panelist community of health plan and integrated delivery network (IDN) advisors.

Tell us more about what you do.

I manage our panel team, and my role is focused on building our market research panel of payers and integrated delivery network (IDN) executives. I coordinate our market research studies by segmenting our network, whether this involves health plan pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) members, IDN executives, patients, physicians, nurses or pharmacists, to deliver the highest quality output for our clients. This involves partnering with our product team to ensure that our surveys are clear and concise to make the most out of participants’ time and establishing a fair honorarium model that makes people feel good about participating. I place a tangible emphasis on building relationships with our market research panel and making sure that each participant is treated as our colleague — a trusted ally and a partner.

What is your day to day like?

Due to the nature of my role and market research panels in general, each day can look very different. My day-to-day is directly related to the number of projects that we are supporting at any given time throughout the year. As major market events unfold in the industry, we need the flexibility to shift our resources rather quickly. One day I might be focused on filling positions for an open study. The next, I could be working with our product and technology teams to rebuild our honorarium systems and workflows. We are always trying to figure out ways to have a better relationship with our active panelists. One of the things I like about this role is the agility of the team and the company, which keeps my life interesting.

What are some of the larger projects you are working on?

Right now, I am coordinating the HITRUST (Health Information Trust Alliance) certification for the company to ensure that our security framework is bulletproof. HITRUST is a huge project for the company as it’s really critical that we have the right systems and processes established so that we can support products like our Patient Satisfaction Survey, where we deal with various patient data attributes. Through this process, I am learning a great deal about the importance of meeting healthcare information security regulations and how that connects to the insights we deliver to our clients.

What are some of the common challenges of your role?

When working with our advisors and panelists, who are often very senior within health plans and IDNs, we are essentially competing for the time they have to spend on their day jobs, as well as with other market research firms that are looking for similar insights from these individuals. To me, that is the biggest challenge and that is why I am so dedicated to the panel and ensuring that each experience that they have with our company is 100% positive. We are very protective of our panel and we strive for perfection in every communication to establish and reinforce trust with our panel team. We define trust as consistency in our panelist workflows, delivering on what we say we are going to deliver on and ensuring that everyone feels totally comfortable in the exchange of insights and key market research findings. Today, they might be working for a health plan but tomorrow they might be working at a health system, and the next they could be in pharma. This is a tight-knit and well-connected industry, so we put a lot of time and investment into maximizing each engagement with every person. Transparency is at the core of what we do.

Can you describe how the Zitter panel has evolved over the past 18 months as part of MMIT?

It has really evolved in a great way as we became one company with MMIT, mainly because of our access to a more comprehensive network of health plans, PBMs, specialty pharmacies and IDN decision-makers. We have a new world of contacts at our fingertips and a marketing engine that helps us engage with a broader universe of individuals. Prior to joining MMIT, we did not have a ton of marketing support to drive growth in the panel. It’s been an exciting time for us, as we have new tools to deploy and new ways of hitting increasingly aggressive growth targets with a solid infrastructure that instilled confidence in our team. Between in-person conference support, direct mail campaigns and innovative digital engagement strategies, we have been able to evolve what our market research panel means to the business.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The people. I am very much a people person and I like working with my team internally as well as our panelists. I have been working with some of the same advisors as I was when I started back in 2005, which is unique. We have really been able to build somewhat of an extended family with the panel across the country. I really enjoy the camaraderie that has been established specifically with our P&T committee, because we have been together for 15 years and it’s good to see the dedication from that committee to our products and the company. Also, the support that I have had over the years from all of my managers is outstanding and the trust we have built is so important to me.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to spend time with my family and do projects around the house, like gardening. I love to see live music which is, sadly, not really a thing this year. I love travelling to see friends and family in California, which is where I am from originally, as well as Sonoma which is where my parents live. I am really hanging on to the one last show that has not been cancelled, which is the Sea.Hear.Now festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey in September. I’m really hoping I can maintain some sense of normalcy with all of the craziness occurring in the world and attend the concert for some good live music on the beach!

by Brooke McDonald