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Patient engagement and patient support have always been a leading concern for healthcare providers. As many factors influence patient adherence including anxiety, affordability, ease of access and motivation to stay on treatment, providers are always looking for the best way to support patients’ needs.
Even before the emergence of COVID-19, patient support was complex, delicate and constantly evolving. Patients are increasingly frustrated by long wait times and high costs. They want more convenience, more emphasis on wellness and preventative services and more control over their healthcare. During a pandemic, these factors are disrupted and amplified.
In its report “Asia-Pacific Front Line of Healthcare Report 2020”, Bain & Company remarked that Asia’s developing healthcare landscape is projected to represent more than 40 percent of the growth in global healthcare spending over the next decade, expanding at a rate almost double that of the rest of the world.
To keep pace with this growth, we believe these following five suggestions will play an important role in shaping the patient support programs (PSP) carried out by healthcare providers across Asia.
Patients are demanding more control over healthcare delivery with nearly 70 percent preferring a single touchpoint for managing their healthcare. At the same time, physicians are ready to embrace change with around 50 percent surveyed by Bain & Company noting they would adopt digital delivery models like telemedicine and remote care over the next five years.
Healthcare delivery for non-emergency services is expected to shift outside of hospitals, a move supported by more than 80 percent of physicians and 50 percent of patients. The PSP must create experiences to engage patients with stakeholders involved in the delivery of care.
One approach is to leverage single cloud platforms to foster ongoing engagement with the patient and across the care network. However, despite the high levels of telemedicine support, many patients still prefer face-to-face patient care. With that in mind, providers will need to find the right balance and develop digital and bricks-and-mortar hybrids that integrate online and offline models.
Patients are increasingly frustrated with wait times and healthcare costs. As they become more interested in overall wellness and more informed about conditions and treatment options, these changing expectations will only intensify their dissatisfaction with the local healthcare systems.
In Australia, India and Singapore, some 70 percent of patients say they most trust their primary care provider to manage their overall healthcare. Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of patients in China, Indonesia and Thailand trust secondary and tertiary care providers.
To build stronger trust, make the benefits of the program crystal clear to the patient and the providers. Go beyond the “one medical drug, one PSP” model as patients are often living with more than one disease. Ensure the program is tailored to the language of your patient.
Healthcare providers are working towards having improved medical outcomes, increased compliance with treatment protocols and more usable real-world data to help with patient monitoring.
A strong PSP will help providers to better understand operational and engagement information by gathering patient insights at the cohort level. It must include the ability to compare patient enrolment dynamics, discontinuation rate, switching behaviors or patient satisfaction across markets. The forward-thinking PSPs are designed to collect and compare medical outcomes and real-world data across markets.
Personalized medicine could make the traditional notion of one-size-fits-all healthcare obsolete. Pharmaceutical companies are expected to embrace the PSP to drive competitive advantage by using the insights gathered to differentiate their brand experience and deliver superior patient outcomes.
Companies are also evolving to support programs beyond financial assistance, for example, nurse education. By maximizing the PSP insights to deliver an emotional engagement and build trust, businesses can increase brand equity and brand usage among healthcare providers.
It is important that the service provider you work with can provide an integrated platform solutions and ensure that all data is securely managed. They also need to have in place a secured standard operating procedure-driven framework to ensure strict compliance with all regulations.
Another vital consideration for the service provider is to hire the right personnel with the right mindset. Regular training to keep employees and personnel on top of patient care development is also crucial for a PSP to be carried out successfully.
Cristiana is a Senior Business Development Manager at DKSH responsible for building and managing strategic alliances with pharmaceutical companies across Asia. She also helps to create sustainable value for patients and healthcare providers and to unlock commercial growth.
She has extensive experience across Asia’s healthcare markets, development and execution of go-to-market strategies enabling consistent market uptake through commercial excellence and Patient Support Programs. Cristiana is Romanian and graduated from the University of Oslo. An avid runner, she completed the “Run for Children: Luang Prabang Half Marathon” in 2019.