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Patient-centricity at the heart of healthcare

By Dr Arti Sikka, Associate Medical Writer

A recent article in Healthcare IT outlined digital healthcare predictions for 2019, including the significance of virtual care in our increasingly patient-centric care system. Indeed, patient-centricity continues to be a hot topic in healthcare. Often described as putting the patient at the ‘heart of everything’, it is the design of healthcare solutions and strategies using patient insights and input.

Historically, patients have had a limited knowledge of available medicines, trusting healthcare professional (HCPs) to prescribe the most appropriate and cost-effective option for their condition. However, patients are becoming more involved in their own care because of the ‘democratisation of information’ and dilution of cultural barriers in the digital age. This is especially true for younger patients.

Today, patient centricity is not just about putting patients at the centre but also working with them, hand-in-hand. It is widely accepted that real-world patient experiences inform better healthcare choices, and patient engagement can result in higher compliance and positive outcomes. Medical Communications agencies like ours are uniquely positioned to shape this new culture. By facilitating patient journey mapping, patient advisory boards and patient advocacy groups, we work with patients to provide pharmaceutical companies with invaluable insight. These approaches are increasingly being used to optimise the design of clinical trials and healthcare systems, and to align R&D priorities with patient needs.

In order to be truly patient-centric, a pharmaceutical company must have commitment from senior executives that translates across the entire organisation. It is important to consider patients before the condition, and to be present at each stage of their journey. Regular auditing will ensure that patient-centric approaches evolve alongside the dynamic industry.

Patients are not the only stakeholder to keep in mind. The transition from a product-driven to a patient-centric approach requires cooperation from pharmaceutical companies, physicians, HCPs, insurance providers and the government. Collaborative initiatives between these stakeholders are the key to success.

Although there are still hurdles to overcome, the benefits to the healthcare field are vast, and we are excited to be part of this journey.


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