a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Good question. Old question…and a reality for Patient Engagement and Adherence Programs. 

If a Patient Engagement and Adherence Program doesn’t measure its effectiveness, is it a viable tool to reduce patient non-adherence, improve outcomes and create an organizational learning environment? Patient Engagement and Adherence Programs are typically evaluated, if at all, using Rx or Claims data to determine the overall uptake in scripts or improved treatment patterns. What this type of analysis doesn’t tell you is how those results were obtained, how to specifically improve your program and how to replicate it for other brands. 

A well-defined Engagement and Adherence Program Insight Measurement Model will answer those questions.

Within this type of measurement model there are five best practice categories - quantitative and qualitative - to include in a program design and requirements. 

  1. KPI/Operational Metrics: KPI’s are the general guiding force behind basic operational management.  When combined with the other best practice measurements contribute to insights into your program’s effectiveness. KPI’s include email open rates, online search data, and phone metrics. Interpreting these numbers often goes against common thinking especially for phone KPI’s.  In a great engagement & adherence program, longer calls with patients, caregivers and HCP’s can be a strong indicator of a highly engaged caller and is therefore a strong indicator of an effective
  2. Message Usage: Simple counts of how many times a particular message topic is requested or provided to a program participant will help you revise and update the content you’re providing.  For example, if information related to side effects is most frequently used then there is likely a great need to address this issue within the program and probably the marketplace. Further evaluation will be necessary to determine why the message is in high or low use but the first step is to capture data on Message Usage. Message Usage data assumes your program employs need assessment approach to message delivery.  A program that employs predefined content cadence does not provide as clear of an information picture.
  3. Program Participation Loss – Controlled vs Uncontrolled: With any program there will be some level of attrition in the enrolled program population.  The question then becomes why participants are no longer active in the program.  Two broad categories that can be captured are controlled loss versus uncontrolled loss of participants.  The criteria is simply are participants leaving for reasons such as they are no longer on therapy (uncontrolled) or are they no longer participating because they don’t find value in the program, are not engaged in their health, etc. (controlled). Controlled loss indicates an opportunity to perform more sophisticated research into your overall program design and content, among other things.
  4. Phone Staff Effectiveness: This is a qualitative metric that will highlight those members of your phone staff who are most effective at engaging with your program participants and who deliver your content most effectively. Well defined and documented assessment criteria will allow non-phone staff to objectively evaluate your team members thereby providing insights into hiring and training of your front line staff.
  5. Supporting Resources Assessment: Most patient engagement and adherence programs offer referrals to or guidance for non-profit organizations that can provide additional services or other types of information to patient populations.  These resources can be highly valued by participants but need to be included in your effectiveness model metrics to ensure you provide the best program services. As with Phone Staff Effectiveness, qualitative assessments performed by non-phone staff and must be guided by clearly defined and documented evaluation criteria. Patient Engagement and Adherence Programs should make noise loud enough for patients, caregivers, HCP’s and organization insiders to hear them. 

An Insight Measurement Model will provide valuable understanding and opportunities to refine your programs. Most importantly, fully implemented this model will be the foundation for a patient engagement and adherence learning environment where success metrics are translated into organizational understanding and effective actions.