4 Tips to Help Specialty Pharmacies Focus on Patient-Centered Care
The pandemic has disrupted the continuity of providing and receiving care. Treatment has become even more challenging as patients attempt to navigate transitional care through various healthcare settings, providers, disease states, and therapies. Fortunately, with the right tools and approaches, specialty pharmacies can be an integral solution in supporting patients during these uncertain times. Effective communication tools are essential in bridging the gaps in disparate systems to truly understand the emotional needs of each patient, and then communicate accordingly. The following tips can help specialty pharmacies implement patient-centric communication methods that result in better therapy outcomes and improved quality of life.
1. Understand the Patient's Perspective of Their Illness
A primary focus of patient-centered care is gaining a deeper understanding of how each patient views his or her illness. The perspective includes the patient’s feelings, motivations, concerns and expectations. Understanding these empowers care providers to recognize the context of the illness and assess the emotional burden and psychological impact of the illness. This can be a guide to help ensure that patient communications regarding interventions and therapies are in line with the patient's views and preferences. As well as allowing the patient a means to frequently and openly express concerns and feelings regarding their treatment. Specialty pharmacies can employ data mining and automation technology to gather patient insights including:
- Demographics: Statistical characteristics of populations, such as age, race, gender and income
- Social Determinants of Health (SDoH): Conditions and environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks
- Psychographics: Perhaps the most valuable insight into patient personalities, psychographics reveals people's healthcare attitudes, values and motivations
2. Help Facilitate and Encourage Analogous Support Groups
Research has shown that the influence of peer-to-peer support groups encourages patients to make better wellness choices and improves medication adherence. The value comes from joining a support group where the patient is surrounded with like-minded people sharing similar health values. Patients come away with greater motivation to adhere to therapies, lifestyle changes, and taking prescribed medication. As healthcare organizations understand motivational insights such as psychographics, they can allow patients to opt into support groups based on both illness and healthcare values and motivations.
3. Adaptive Communication Channels and Frequency
Communication preferences such as channels (email, text message, automated phone call, etc.) and frequency vary by patient. As such, it’s important to consider an engagement approach that accommodates each patient. A digital engagement platform can automate variations in communications, but you must first identify these preferences using insights like psychographics can provide. PatientBond simplifies the process of grouping patients into five distinct psychographic segments and can then vary the channels and frequency of messages based on each segment’s preferences. For example, one patient segment prefers phone call reminders to take their blood pressure medicine, while other segments prefer a text message.
Personalized Adherence and Wellness Messages
The “one-size-fits-all” approach to adherence communications may be missing the mark for up to 70-80% of patients. That’s because patients are motivated differently in their health choices. One group of patients may simply adhere to therapies based solely on the instruction from a physician. However, another group prioritizes the health of their family above their own and is primarily motivated in their wellness by understanding that they need to stay healthy because others depend on them. And another group may be suspicious of “Big Pharma,” are suspicious of medicine itself or just don’t like being told what to do with their bodies.
PatientBond’s proprietary model divides patients into five distinct psychographic segments and then enables you to communicate messages that are personalized with psychographic insights that appeal to individual patient motivations. Each psychographic segment requires a different engagement strategy — both message and channel mix — to be effective at activating desired behaviors. What motivates action in one psychographic segment won’t necessarily work for another segment. This is why PatientBond personalizes its messages to the specific recipient’s psychographic profile and adjusts the channel (email, text message, automated phone call, etc.) and frequency of message accordingly.
Medication Adherence through Patient-Centric Engagement
Medication adherence can be intimidating and expensive, but when approached with an empathetic, patient-centric and personalized approach, patients — even the most difficult-to-reach ones — can live longer, healthier lives.
Specialty pharmacies can increase their patient focus through personalizing engagement with psychographics. Learn how PatientBond helped AcariaHealth improve important patient measures in the AcariaHealth Specialty Pharmacy WhitePaper.