At a recent presentation of the ExL Patient Adherence Summit, I had the privilege of presenting HealthEd’s unique strategic approach to promoting adherence. Focusing on the top 5 strategies to drive effective patient interactions, we covered recommendations and rationale for including deeply patient-centric strategy to drive adherence through:
1. Mapping the patient journey
The patient journey helps form and secure brand strategy by providing a predictive snapshot in time of the aggregate patient experience. Through it, we distill insights and translate emotional and environmental barriers to wellness into visual, actionable frameworks. It is informed by a multitude of inputs, including qualitative and quantitative research, ethnographies, brand research, social media, literature reviews, and focus groups and in-depth interviews. Because we view adherence as a cumulative experience, patient journeys take into account every stage of the patient experience—including initial awareness of the disease or product, taking the first dose, and continuing with treatments through maintenance.
2. Identifying a behavior change model
Utilizing a behavior change model helps us to explain people’s behaviors, as well as how people can be influenced to change. As with the patient journey, a behavior change model is predictive in nature and can help identify issues that a patient may have with the disease or therapy. Behavior change models evolve beyond the typical pharmaceutical model of awareness, conversion, initiation, and adherence to look at the individual motivating or inhibitory factors that influence behavior change. These factors can then be leveraged or manipulated to drive desired behaviors, such as successful adherence.
3. Understanding the clinical encounter
The clinical encounter is an important key strategy to drive patient interactions because it embodies the complex dynamic not only between doctor and patient but also between other important (and sometimes not top-of-mind) stakeholders. These can include nurses, allied health professionals, caregivers, support groups, pharmacists, and the brand sales force. It can also illustrate the dynamics between those individuals and groups. Identifying these complex relationships and interactions can help brands to leverage each tactic appropriately and at the correct key moment.
4. Measuring patient behavior
Measuring patient behavior goes beyond typical pharma measurement variables such as script refills. Rather, measuring patient behavior focuses on measuring change in patients’ skills, knowledge, attitudes, behavioral intention, and unique behavior change model metrics. In doing so, we can determine baseline levels and demonstrate the power of tactical interventions to influence behavior change—which can ultimately lead to successful adherence.
5. Using health literacy principles
Last, incorporating health literacy principles into patient communications can help to aid adherence by assisting the roughly 90% of the population that has less-than-proficient health literacy. Using health literacy guidelines can lead to greater comprehension, which ultimately relates to greater adherence. It also leads to a greater financial impact for brands. The importance of meeting health literacy guidelines is being recognized by government entities such as the FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion.
These 5 strategic areas aim to place the patient at the center of the brand experience to drive effective patient interactions. The dynamic relationship of all 5 considerations helps create a strong, targeted, and effective brand experience that fosters adherence.