Using data to upgrade patient journeys
Collecting and analyzing patient data can improve all aspects of a patient’s health journey. Data privacy must never be compromised in the process.
Through digitization, pharmaceutical companies can collect large amounts of patient information which can be used to deliver a personalized and improved patient experience. This enables more successful and targeted commercialization strategies.
Pharma companies should collect individual and aggregated patient data to improve the overall patient experience: Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to predict patient journeys
Robust data guidelines should be established and followed to protect data privacy and standardize data quality: Legal and compliance teams should work closely with patient experience departments
Pharma companies should offer a broad range of communication channels and use data to personalize communications in line with the preferences of each patient segment: Maintaining relationships with clinicians is key to understanding patient needs
In contrast to other consumer-oriented industries, pharma has lagged in its use of digital tools to optimize the patient experience. To catch up, Novartis’ Heather Mitchell suggested companies change their mindset to view the patient as a “health consumer” and make structural changes accordingly. Novartis merged its patient support program (PSP) with its health access department to optimize patient experience operations. Otsuka Pharmaceuticals built a new patient experience department.
Pharma companies can collect, select, and utilize patient data to find ways to personalize a patient’s health journey. Aggregated data can provide insight on patient cohorts, which can then be applied to improve patient experience. AI can use aggregated data to predict how a patient’s individual journey is likely to develop in the context of other patient journeys. Traverse Therapeutics moved the data analytics team closer to the patient experience department to foster cross-team collaboration.
Ensuring data privacy is crucial. To use collected data, companies must obtain explicit consent from patients and be transparent on how their data will be used. Companies can share key clinical findings obtained from collected data with patients so they can appreciate the scope of their individual contributions and be impelled to further share personal data.
Patient experience departments must work closely with internal legal and compliance teams to establish robust data privacy standards and protocols. Once good practice, guidelines, and regulations processes are established, these must be closely followed and monitored. When sharing data across teams within the company, data privacy should remain a priority. Cross-team meetings should discuss data trends, not specific data points. Throughout, protected health information must remain de-identified.
Companies should offer a range of communication channels, including text, e-mail, chat box, and phone, to fit the needs of different patients. Data can be used to discern communication preferences among different patient groups and personalize accordingly. Increasing digital engagement can free up availability for traditional phone-based communications, which would be prioritized for patients needing urgent or more bespoke help.
Pharma companies can gather information from healthcare professionals (HCPs) to better understand patient needs. As an example, Travere sends physicians and nurses a “patient scorecard” bi-annually to assess key aspects of the patient experience, as well as to maintain regular communications between the pharma company and HCPs. Communication channels should be customizable depending on the preferences of individual physicians.