While the pharmaceutical industry has been incorporating patient-centered practices within engagement and adherence programs for quite some time, the truth is that functional silos limit the ability for companies to fully adopt patient centricity at scale. Let’s explore some of the areas hindering companies from becoming fully patient-centered, and how to overcome these challenges.
The Big Myth Surrounding Patient Centricity
There is a common misconception among life sciences companies that simply implementing a new touchpoint for a consumer — i.e. a new app or website — means that they are now “patient centric.” Patient centricity involves orchestrating thoughtful engagement across channels, not just creating another patient-direct channel.
Haphazard practices and silos can become detrimental, resulting in less-than-ideal patient experiences. Specifically, disjointed channels and communications within a single company, all engaging with the same patient at different points of the healthcare process, can cause:
- A fragmented experience for the patient
- The inability to track the patient’s complete journey
- The inability to orchestrate and take action
- Incomplete data and analytics that lack a big-picture view
Using Technology to Your Advantage
Taking a cue from CPG and other industries, life sciences companies could benefit from adopting a true “omni-channel” approach. While many solutions offer multi-channel capabilities, they fail to connect and orchestrate them against a common customer journey. Omni-channel, or “channel-less,” approaches ensure continuity of process and data regardless of the mode of interaction. Omni-channel CRM practices and systems effectively track customer interactions across all stages and modes of the engagement process, so that companies and brands can learn from them, and products and services can be improved.
Additionally, many existing platforms in pharma are still too focused on outdated methods of data collecting, like information from sales representatives or from specific functional areas that don’t provide adequate or updated insight in real-time from the patient. For pharma, a CRM-inspired system means an intelligent platform that incorporates and responds to the decision-making of the patient. The key is ensuring your system includes operationalized analytics offering contextual insights — together with omni-channel interactions, this means a system that reflects the full scope of the patient journey, which carries across different channels and at different points of the healthcare process.
For example, there is rarely a common company view of a patient enrolled in a financial assistance program who logs into a patient portal to research product side effects and later makes a phone call to report an adverse event. Commercial and medical silos typically limit the visibility of information about this patient’s journey, yet each interaction is a critical part of understanding the patient, and each has the potential to be a “moment of truth” in their experience.
Combining Technology for Best Results
While technology is critical, a system can only take you so far. It requires input from real people involved in the healthcare journey — the patient, the caregiver, the nurse health coach or the physician — to continually shape and refine itself.
Leveraging contact centers, with informed and knowledgeable agents, can help create touchpoints that capture the decisions and the outcomes that feed back into your platform. Further, to be truly “patient centric,” companies should not overlook the tremendous benefit of the human element — those personal connections that build trust over the course of a patient’s journey, which encourage and allow for two-way communication, and ultimately improve adherence rates and health outcomes.