A patient centric environment requires harmonious relations between the patient and the health care providers. Working through patient advocacy groups is an efficient way for pharma to interact with patients to get their opinions, feedback and also increase their involvement in the trials and treatment processes. In situations where access to medicine is denied these advocacy groups can move from the role of support to an adversarial role.
In today’s digital world, there is no one way communication and unless managed properly, collecting additional data can complicate the process depending on how the data is organized, processed and reviewed. Moreover, when a company denies access to results or researched information of a medicine, the same group of advocates can become adversaries. The second risk that companies face today is the lack of experience in directly engaging with patients to manage their overall health. There are no benchmarks available to allocate budgets for such activities, no manuals to refer to and no one in charge of listening to patients. Therefore, companies are unsure of the risk-benefit trade-off. In addition, this would also seem as a cumbersome process for organizations doing it for the first time. However, as it is done repeatedly with a focus on effectiveness, this will become easier, cheaper, more efficient and beneficial.
Today the focus of the industry is more on treatments, however I feel it is important to shift to preventive solutions by identifying potentially negative problems along with their associated cause before they occur, thus transforming our care-environment from reactive to proactive. The industry should also leverage education, collaboration and technology to bring benefits to patients.
Another aspect that needs enhancement is the communication channel with patients. The industry has always relied on a one way communication channel from health care providers to mass media. Today, it is essential that there be advisory boards comprising of patients that can share feedback and personalized communication. Devices around us are increasingly tracking our activities and companies must use these devices in treatment as an inflexion point.
The need of the hour is an enterprise level change in the culture where people-centric leaders are introduced throughout. The transformation will be at three levels - personal, team and organizational. The other crucial change required is in the habits, attitudes, values-believes and other assumptions that add up to the way things are done at a pharmaceutical organization, so that they can effectively support the new business model. To drive this transformation, the CEOs will have to assume the role of a de facto Chief Experience Officer. We could also have a patient centric leadership consisting of a Chief Patient Officer or a group of leaders to look beyond commercial aspects and drive cultural change by sending unified message on behalf of patients.
Going ahead, I believe a shared value approach could integrate the traditional approach of competitive advantage with the concept of developing societal improvements. Therefore by creating more avenues of engagement between providers, drug manufactures, patients and care givers, a better and more holistic outcome can be achieved. Any ideas on how to take the patient centricity game to the next level? Share your comments in the section below.