Patient centricity is becoming one of the prevalent trends in pharma, and for a good reason. For true closed-loop marketing, it’s necessary to provide solutions that benefit all stakeholders, including pharma brands, physicians, and patients. One of the tools that put patients at the center of attention is a patient journey. So, what exactly is a patient journey, what are its benefits and how can pharma brands use it to their advantage? Let’s find out.
What is a patient journey?
Simply put, a patient journey is a collection of a patient’s experiences throughout the healthcare system. It describes the full path a patient takes, from the first symptoms all the way to the point where the treatment ends. It provides real-life stories of the path patients take, highlighting their biggest issues with the drugs, physicians, and the overall healthcare system
What are the benefits of using a patient journey?
Once you start thinking about patient journeys, it quickly becomes evident that they benefit all of the involved stakeholders. Primarily, pharma brands will be able to effectively improve patient outcomes as they will be informed about patients’ opinions through patient empowerment programs.
Secondly, pharma brands will be able to base their strategies not just on HCPs, but also on the end-user. What’s more, they will be able to do so based on real-life evidence. By knowing which patients struggle with certain problems, brands can give priority to patient groups that need more help and dedication.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, a patient journey improves communication across the board and among all the parties involved in the process. Pharma brands, sales reps, physicians, payers, and patients are all aligned and informed about the patients’ experience.
By having real-life data, pharma brands can prepare for better product launches and devise more efficient marketing strategies. On the other hand, HCPs can improve their approach to patients and invest effort into improving adherence and patient outcomes.
Providing necessary support
According to Eyeforpharma, there are four ways to show support in the patient journey: educational, emotional, behavioral, and practical.
Educational support refers to improving patients’ information about their diagnosis, disease, and course of treatment. There are multiple ways to achieve this, with traditional print material as the most prevalent method. However, animated explainer videos have been proven to do wonders for patient literacy and education.
Emotional support refers to providing patients with a way to cope with their illness. This can be done through counseling, phone support, and other initiatives.
Behavioral change support refers to beyond-the-pill solutions that help patients change their everyday routines. This can be done with various apps that track relevant patients’ data and plan their activities regarding medication adherence.
Finally, practical support refers to the actual access that patients have to treatment.
Using patient journey as a tool for market access
As time goes by, pharma brands and sales reps have more restricted access to some of the main areas of the market. As they develop a patient journey, they can get crucial data that helps shape future key market decisions.
Here are some of the ways to gain market access using patient journeys. First off, you can learn much more about your product and the way it’s actually being used once it’s prescribed, including how efficient it is. Second, you will be able to identify the main stakeholders and how much value their opinion has for patients. For example, you can learn the deciding factors that patients adhere to when choosing a physician. Furthermore, you can find out who influences patient decisions in their journey beside the physician.
One of the major benefits of using a patient journey is also the ability to pin down challenges that arise. These can be things such as the time span to get an appointment, the time from appointment to diagnosis and prescription, and so on. Pharma brands will effectively be able to learn the skills needed to improve contact points.
Perhaps most importantly, the patient journey allows access to patient preferences. Pharma brands can learn from patients’ preferred treatment methods and get acquainted with their difficulties.
Kickstart your digital pharma marketing efforts
Are you looking for a way to improve your pharma marketing and include the patient journey as part of your strategy? At BlueNovius, we collaborate with more than 50 pharma brands across the world. We provide proven and effective pharma marketing solutions that engage all stakeholders in the patient journey. If you want to find out how we can help you too – reach out to us today.