Improving Patient Outcomes

Improving Patient Outcomes: The Importance Of Support Services In Biopharma

February 3, 2024

Improving patient outcomes means better quality care, operational efficiency, and increased patient satisfaction. It also helps medical practices meet clinical standards for reducing readmissions and medical errors.

Increased Patient Adherence

Patient adherence to prescribed medication regimens is essential for improved healthcare outcomes, reduced hospitalization costs, and avoided costly ER visits. Unfortunately, research shows that from 26 to 63 percent of patients with chronic diseases do not adhere to their medical treatment regimen. The good news is that adherence can significantly increase with the right combination of patient support services. For example, a new approach to supporting adherence utilizes easily learned communication techniques—ranging from phrasing questions in a more patient-centered way to taking the time to listen and reflect on patients’ stories. These tools can be integrated with data from the various sources contributing to a patient’s adherence challenges, such as internal patient-support programs and customer relationship management systems. This multidimensional view allows the creation of adherence microsegments and customized interventions that address the barriers to therapy access and persistence, including cost, compliance issues, side effects, and social support. With this strategy, leading pharmaceutical companies have seen adherence increase by 10 to 15 percent for targeted segments.

Better Patient Engagement

Patient engagement is one of the most effective ways to increase patient outcomes. Patients engaged with their healthcare have a much more active role in managing their conditions, which leads to better outcomes. Several strategies for patient engagement include relevant patient education, expanded office and patient communication methods, constant monitoring and response to feedback, patient-family engagement, and staff training. As more and more hospitals restrict access to pharma field representatives (following the lead of many who did so pre-COVID-19), it is imperative that biopharma companies create new forms of engagement that can meet patients where they are and on their preferred platforms. This is an opportunity to develop a holistic support model that is data-driven and digitized and can be scaled to serve the entire patient population. Such models can help improve patient success, reduce first-script abandonment, increase medication adherence, and ultimately grow the commercial bottom line through increased patient lifetime value.

Better Patient-Provider Relationships

Patients need clear guidelines and expectations about their treatment to feel satisfied with their outcomes. This improves adherence and reduces the potential for legal liability. Biopharma companies must create and deliver patient support services based on their patients’ abilities and life circumstances to ensure they successfully adhere to their treatments. Patient education programs are another critical piece in the treatment journey for many diseases. These programs help patients understand their disease state, associated medications, and how to take them correctly. They also provide easy-to-comprehend visual educational materials to help patients get the most out of their treatment. As we move forward, biopharma needs to recognize and understand the ongoing shift toward a more connected, outcomes-focused healthcare world. They can lead the way by embracing and evolving their patient-support strategies and focusing on what matters to patients. They can also leverage their assets and capabilities to provide more personalized and practical support.

Reduced Medical Errors

Providing support services to help patients manage their disease and avoid medical errors is essential to biopharma’s mission. Medication errors cost lives and years of healthy life, and they can be prevented with a combination of education and patient support programs. A personalized support experience can provide valuable insights to reduce medical errors and improve patient and healthcare facility outcomes. This can be achieved through various means, from better patient education to implementing data aggregation and analytics for quicker decision-making. Biopharma can also offer financial support to help patients meet their living expenses through advocacy partnerships that provide free mental health services or concierge transportation to get patients to and from medical appointments. These offerings can help foster stronger patient relationships in the long term. Moreover, they can help ensure HCPs continue prescribing the brand’s innovative therapies.

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