Pharma must benchmark the effectiveness of patient-focused engagements to stay relevant and ensure ongoing value optimization

With the pharmaceutical industry shifting focus to patients and their experiences with pharmaceutical therapies, it’s more important than ever that companies benchmark patient services, experience and engagement activities against competitors and industry best practices.

There’s no denying it has been challenging for pharmaceutical marketers to transition from an HCP centric model to patient-focused engagement and experience scenarios. The industry has spent decades honing and tailoring the most effective strategies and tactics geared towards physicians. The methods are mature--tried and true and confirmed to deliver improved value to HCPs as well as the company. The metrics used to calculate success are well defined, and the most effective portions of HCP programs can be consistently replicated.

Historically, the simplest method for determining the effectiveness and ROI for sales rep interactions with doctors was calculated based on simple Rx data.  An increase in NRx (new prescriptions) or TRx (total prescriptions) were strong indicators of successful detailing programs.

The increased focus on patients and the omni-channel environment where patient engagement programs exist have resulted in a myriad of metrics to determine the effectiveness of patient programs and include:

  • Rx Data
  • Longitudinal Claims Data
  • KPI’s & Operational Metrics
  • Channel specific analytics
  • Qualitative Assessment of Patient Experiences
  • Program Participation and Continuation Analysis

These patient focused data assets, combined with deep insights into program design and optimization, are the framework for the pharmaceutical industry  to identify, create and standardize the core requirements for patient-focused engagement and experience programs.

To fully integrate patient experience strategy and tactics into an organization's corporate DNA, there is a business/marketing requirement to evaluate and benchmark patient support and engagement activities and adjust according to the evolving marketplace conditions. Companies that evaluate and adjust will be those that will thrive.

Determine the Degree of Patient Experience Maturity

The first step, given today’s healthcare model, is to determine the relative position to direct and indirect competition. This is a crucial element to the development of strategy and tactics as well as optimizing programs, obtaining funding and allocating budgets, etc.  For instance, if there are six, primary, competing products in a therapeutic class and all provide some type of patient focused program, which product is providing the best patient experience?What portions of the program are of superior quality?And, which are less than optimal? 

It’s also important to consider every organization has its own products, goals, objectives, processes and teams, each with special characteristics. These are all crucial aspects in determining the maturity level of patient experience, engagement and adherence programs within an organization.

Valuable insight is garnered by assessing an organization’s strategies, tactics and concepts compared to competing companies and products within these four categories:

  • Program design: decisions necessary to create effective patient experience programs program
  • Engagement content and performance: level and type of messaging and customization employed
  • Reporting and tools: how and what data are captured, reported, analyzed and the mechanisms required for an optimal environment
  • Staffing (people) and processes: identifies how staff are trained and how they support an optimal Patient Experience as well as compliance and governance processes to meet regulatory and operational requirements

By evaluating Patient Experience strategies, plans, programs, capabilities and tactics, an organization’s maturity level can be determined. With this, opportunities for improving results within the patient experience, including which areas provide the most impact and value for the individual organization, become apparent, thereby cementing patient focused initiatives into the organization’s corporate DNA.  

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