Reshaping the patient experience 

by Ashfield Health

Ashfield Health agencies discuss how pharma should reshape the patient experience. Insights were collected from Ashfield MedComms, Create NYC, MicroMass and Mind+Matter.

Patient experience is no longer defined by the patient’s experience on a specific brand. An optimal patient experience should put focus on the patient. We need to understand what matters to patients and redesign the patient experience to build programs that truly matter. 

By connecting with people and delivering experiences to help how patients manage their health, pharma brands can engage patients and providers in a way that changes behavior – and ultimately benefits the brand.

Optimize the patient experience by understanding the patient and offering choice.

Jo Fearnhead-Wymbs

Jo Fearnhead-Wymbs, VP, Patient Engagement, Ashfield MedComms

Developers of medicines and solutions for people living with health conditions need to incorporate the patient perspective right from the start. In no other industry would a team set about creating a product without understanding the end user, their needs, and their preferences. It’s crucial that we understand what matters to patients and what makes a difference to their daily lives in order to improve their experience and ultimately their health outcomes.

Choice is critical to the optimal experience. The ultimate aim for the healthcare sector should be in offering choice; a choice of consultation formats, data access, treatment delivery mechanisms, and communication platforms to suit patient preference and need.

First, we must understand the patient. As an industry, we need to consult with patients throughout program development. And by truly listening and trusting what patients tell us, we can make better decisions and create more impactful experiences. 

The patient experience is what matters. This is why new medicines are needed, innovative solutions are required, and why we do the work we do. The success of the medical profession and the pharma industry cannot be measured by clinical factors alone. Instead, we must be measured by how each patient manages their condition, treatment, and healthcare journey.

Every person living with a health condition faces challenges in their daily lives, and they all deserve our attention.

Move beyond the status quo to deliver impactful experiences.

Lauren Wetmore

Lauren Wetmore, EVP, Account Services, Create NYC

Education and meaningful conversation are at the heart of a positive customer experience. While prescription medicines can have a profound impact on a patient’s health, the full value is often only gained once patients and their healthcare providers collaborate to learn, share, and track the overall health experience, which can be made richer by a range of resources.

One way to do this is to create experiences that transform the way consumers engage. Thinking beyond the doctor’s office to reach consumers directly on the platforms in which they spend the most time (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube) have been very successful, and this strategy will undoubtedly be a continued and welcomed trend to improve the overall customer experience.

Pharma has an opportunity to build on this foundation. The industry must continue to innovate how to deliver healthcare information in ways that are both agile and at a faster velocity. 

Today’s consumers expect their information to be available to them in a seamless way that is fully integrated into their lives. Consumers are craving more content that is relevant to their unique needs. Patients don’t have the luxury of waiting for the industry to message to them when the brand is ready. Pharma must forgo the rigid and traditional model and replace it with an on-demand model that is focused on delivering impactful patient experiences with efficiency. 

We can move beyond the status quo and find more efficient ways to build experiences that matter for patients. If we don’t, patients may look to unqualified sources or competing brands for that information.

See the person and move the patient. 

Rob Peters

Rob Peters, EVP, Strategy, MicroMass

Behavioral science helps create a better patient experience by informing how an experience should relate to patient needs on multiple levels. By leveraging behavioral science, there’s a greater confidence that the patient will find the experience relevant to their needs, that they will engage with it, and that it will have the intended outcomes.

Human Dynamics is an approach that builds on the foundation of behavioral science to allow a more comprehensive methodology that creates relevant patient experiences. Human Dynamics is a collective expertise that blends behavioral science, creative, data, analytics, and technology into a single approach to make every interaction meaningful. 

To create lasting experiences that matter, the industry needs to see people, not just patients. We need to go beyond their disease and their demographics to see the human inside. We can understand, inspire, change behavior, and reach the person to offer the most impact. Human Dynamics drives our understanding of what people need and how those needs evolve. 

Brands can leverage Human Dynamics as a powerful tool to connect with people and create impactful experiences. Behavioral science can help us understand what motivates people and how to build better experiences. By doing this, brands can create a path forward to meet patients where they are and provide stronger and longer connections. 

Utilize technology and data to build patient trust. 

Annemarie Crivelli

Annemarie Crivelli, Global Director, Experience, Mind+Matter

Technology advancements have contributed to patient empowerment. Patients now expect a level of experience that is empathetic, personalized, and on their terms. 

We must design omnichannel solutions that deliver authentic experiences that meet the patients where they are. The solutions should deliver automated, personalized experiences that speak to each person on individual level. Delivering the right message at the right time in the right channel is a unique opportunity to build trust. Technology and data can be leveraged to deliver on this promise. 

As a result of the pandemic, advanced tracking and predictive analytics are even more important. Including the voice of the patient and ongoing optimization based on learnings provides an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with patients. 

A patient-centric strategy for clients is built on a solid framework that addresses core patient challenges as well as complexity in the customer lifecycle. By increasing speed of program development, removing barriers to execution, and opening opportunities for increased intelligence from the data we analyze, we can create effective and efficient patient experiences that drive business value at scale. Most importantly, we can really make it matter for the patients we serve.