Importance of Patient Centricity

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For what reason is patient centricity is important

The significance of patient centricity is quite high now in the healthcare industry.

It is about giving care to a patient with respect and compassion. 

There is huge potential in a patient-centric approach which if harnessed properly can enable the healthcare system to address patients’ needs’ and wants’. Apart from the mental and physical well being of the patient, this also delivers awareness and improves the decision-making process of a patient. 

Why Patient Centricity is Important for Pharma Consumer

Here, Patient Centricity starts from the moment when a patient calls the helpline number to book an appointment or standing at the hospital door for quick help.

When a patient is in agony, Pharma consumers appear as a God to them for their help. And its associates such as nurses, dieticians, physiotherapists and other staff always work to improve patient health.

The patient believes in them for their own benefit. Whatever they prescribe they take it as a remedy for their existing health issues. 

But did you know that these consumers sometimes seek personal benefit when a pharma sales representative reaches out to them for product demonstration?

You might be thinking what’s wrong with that, right?

It is wrong because any major, mid-size or small size pharma company might have developed a life-saving drug which could be more effective and deliver desirable benefits to the end-user.

So without any doubt, medicos and other HCPs must evaluate their options on a regular basis and prescribe the best drug to the patient. If a patient gets a positive result, positive feedback will surely come.

Hospital Management and staff can also give their best in patient-centric initiatives by giving a response in a positive tone to every patient. 

Whether it is a private or a government hospital, all can make an effort to treat patients with dignity. 

H2: How can a Pharma Consumer implement a Patient-Centric Approach?  

– After years of experience and learning, doctors may advise some healthy tips and suggestions to the patient as a dietician or a yoga/gym instructor

– When there is an absence of a surgeon or specialist doctor refer the patient to the best possible hospital

– Use social media channels to advise solutions for controlling disease, they can hire a social media marketer for this who is an expert in handling and managing social media pages 

– Hospital staff and doctors can boost the morale of the patient by reducing the amount of agony the patient is going through

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

What are the benefits of a patient-centric approach?

  • You get commitment from patients and drug suppliers which result in savings in time and cost 
  • A patient gets clear of what is wrong and what is right for them. This also leads to a reduction in the relapse of the disease
  • Interaction with patient facilitates better decision-making and in-depth study of disease
  • You get more referrals and a competitive advantage

What is the role of patient centricity in pharma?

Pharmaceutical companies have whole-heartedly tried to bring patient centricity in many ways. 

They have collaborated with e-commerce, IT, insurance and many other industries for transforming human lives. Pharma or Medical Device companies use AI/ML, Blockchain and IoT technologies to address patient unmet needs. 

Actually, the healthcare system should thank patients because without any apprehension they are willing to share their health data. So that the healthcare system can utilize that data for the wellbeing of the patient.

They use patient inputs for further improvement. For example, a pain relief gel for the patient is according to the major segment needs and diseases. This is in reference to short-term pain. 

It empowers pharma to address patient unmet needs. 

What are those unmet needs?

It is not only limited to an emotional need.These days most of the patients are completely aware of their emotional and mental needs. 

Due to rapid digitalization across the country patients can connect with friends, doctors and mental health counselors for maintaining mental and physical health from anywhere.

Their real unmet needs are the quick solution of their health issues, accessibility to drugs and elimination of black marketing of drugs.

And what about the cure for the diseases which have existed for many years? Are Pharma companies able to achieve that yet? 

The answer is NO.

HIV has been existing for many years but there is no vaccine for this disease. 

There are medicines to reduce the amount of virus in HIV patients but not many have access to these. Still, there are many left. 

So there is a lot to Pharma for advancing human lives. 

No doubt Pharma has developed drugs for controlling major lifestyle diseases like diabetes. But the complete cure is still absent. 

Today, there are apps in the market that enable the patient to book a meeting with the specialist doctor. Before going to the specialist the patient can check their health devices on IoT enabled wearable.They may know the line of therapy which a specialist may propose. 

The patient wants attention from specialists, medical attendants, pharma and many others who are engaged with them during treatment. 

The patients are going to the internet to help their understanding.

Patients would prefer not to confront more difficulties during treatment. So the outlook for any Pharma firm ought to keep the patient’s need at the focal point of everything. Else, they will go to some other platform.

So as a patient-centric pharma company, make every effort to hear the patient’s voice before it’s too late.

As a pharma enthusiast or keen observer of the pharma industry, you may have also observed that with the outbreak of a pandemic, a progressive patient-centric approach was widely implemented in all small and major pharmaceutical companies across the globe. 

Authorities, regulatory, insurance providers, caregivers and pharma companies all are now collaborating to give the best cure to the Covid patient.

Actually, Covid has done many things for Pharma in months which were not taking place in years by pharma firms such as digital transformation initiatives, implementation of digital marketing strategies and acceleration in clinical trials for the betterment of humanity. 

But why was it not so much emphasised before Covid-19?   

As Covid-19 is a communicable disease and is fatal to those who already have comorbidities or lifestyle diseases. It might have to make pharma companies think of fulfilling the dire needs of people.

The outbreak of Covid depicts to us that the pharma industry has a lot of potential to add many years to diseased life or transform human lives with few changes.

Major changes are given below:

– Changes in guidelines for the quick launch of life-changing drugs

– When there is a need to develop an advanced drug in quick time, ego clash must be eliminated from work

 -Upgrade Pharma employees’ skills as per the society, prospects and customers demand

-Develop selfless motive to develop drugs across the organisation for the complete treatment of disease and not just reduction in the amount of toxicity or virus from the patient body

-Collaborate with other industry partners, hospitals and competitors and if some of them is not collaborating then at that time you must look for alternative option side by side

How pharma can bring embrace patient centricity

It is essential for the doctor to see that the best drug reaches the patient. 

So it is always better to engage with the consumer first because they are the important element of patient centricity. Pharma companies should initiate engagement with patients with the acceptability of the doctor. 

If you truly want to bring patient-centricity you must win the trust of the doctor and afterwards build an association with other staff like attendants, drug specialists, professionals, wholesalers and retailers and interact with patient colleagues, friends and family members, insurance agencies and NGOs. 

What are the benefits of Patient Centricity for Pharma?

In many ways, you will get the benefits from patient-centricity, as a pharma company when you will implement it you will come to know. For the time being, you can have a look at some of them below:

– Advancement in product design and feature

– More territory or region in your pocket

– Quick product recall among consumers

– Customer will ask a consumer for your products or services

– More support from other industries, government, research and scientific institutes

How Patient can Support Patient Centric Approach

Often it is seen that patients forget to take on time medicine, especially senior citizens and weaker economic sections. The patient should abide by all the guidelines and medication prescribed by the doctors.

Causes of Non-compliance can be any:

– Travel time and cost to the chemist shop

– No reach of the internet because of that there is non-availability of e-pharmacy

– Cost of the drug 

– Peer pressure for non-medical intervention

Also patients should not create violence against doctors.

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Pharma, hospitals and patients are totally aware of the fact that the final outcome of medical and pharma intervention is dependent on how much the patient is willing to engage.

In layman terms, here is the example for your understanding

If a TB patient is not willing to give up unhealthy lifestyle choices there are very chances of successful outcomes even when free antibiotic treatment is provided by government-approved hospitals.

 I hope it’s clear to you now.

What is the Solution for this?

In such situations, all parties including insurance providers who are willing to engage with the patient can act as a supreme caregiver to the patient. Read below how it can be done:

– Family members and friends of the patient can give a patient a timely reminder daily to take medicines

– Family members can advise patient to adopt healthy lifestyle choices

– If only one member of the family is educated, h/she can educate the patient about different insurance schemes and the use of e-pharmacy apps

– Healthcare agencies can partner with the ministry of health for spreading awareness of the prevention of diseases

– Ruling state and centre government can empower the healthcare providers with all the basic amenities and facilities even at the remotest corner of the country and give extreme punishment to black marketers. So that no one is deprived of healthcare facilities especially in Covid-19 times

Conclusion

No one has tasted the elixir yet. 

You, I or anyone could be a patient today or tomorrow.

So patients want to be treated with trust and dignity. And patient centricity can play a vital role in improving the overall patient experience. 

When every patient will get easy accessibility to medical services and drugs, patient-centricity will automatically be born from every health and pharma institute.

PharmaState Blog
This is a platform for people working in the pharmaceuticals industry for Discussions, Jobs, News updates, Professional Profile display space and company business pages. PharmaState DNA is having four pillars: Quality, Transparency, Innovation & Benchmarks.

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