Enormous changes occurring in the healthcare marketplace promise to transform the entire ecosystem. Government initiatives, technology advancements and medical innovation are all factors. The overarching challenge for healthcare professionals (HCPs) is how to best transform their practices in this new environment. They are looking for manufacturers to help bring value beyond the pill—and communications is the key.
“A good scalpel makes a better surgeon. Good communication makes a better doctor.”—Dr. Josh Umbehr
Dr. Umbehr has many ideas on how to improve the U.S. healthcare system. His thoughts on HCP-patient communications offer the most powerful prescription for how we can improve patient healthcare outcomes.
HCPs must change the way they practice medicine, away from a business model that is volume-based toward increased efficiency in the way they work, and most importantly, improvement in measured health outcomes.
At The Core Of Change Is HCP-Patient Communications
Studies on point-of-care communications between HCPs and their patients have yielded little advancement in health outcomes. AMA research suggests that more than 89 million people in the U.S. have low-health or no-health literacy. Health literacy experts tell us that most patients are low-health literate during the most important conversations in their healthcare pathway—the time they are diagnosed by their HCP. As patients, we start thinking about how it will affect us—and fail to hear or process our HCP’s verbal instructions.
How bad is this disconnect? Research reports that average patient recall of the HCP conversation is 20%, and only 10% accurately. Our Liberate medical advisors tell us that even 10% accuracy level is too high, and it is more likely to be 3% or even 2%.
So what is the best path to pursue to improve HCP-patient communications? I suggest that today tablet technology can be leveraged to improve the communication outcome by improving HCP-patient engagement. But it’s not that simple.
Provide Better, More Consumable Information
As a society, we are moving away from long-form reading to quick, visually interesting content. Twitter, infographics, Facebook, texting, Vine, Instagram, etc., supply us with short, visually interesting and simple to understand content.
Life sciences companies must be able to provide their complex content in an understandable visual way if they desire to have it consumed and used by HCPs, and today’s mobile tablet technology can facilitate delivery. When content is developed that enables an HCP to provide a plain-language narrative that is reinforced by visual infographic content, patient understanding improves. And manufacturers are well-versed and experienced in providing information in a balanced, ethical manner.
Patients clearly want, and need, better, more consumable info. Today, solutions exist that can improve communications outcomes at the all-important “Point of Patient Engagement.” Solutions that will allow improved teaching, improved comprehension, and the ability for patients to revisit and review the teaching encounter are available today. So, are you ready to participate in the transformation at the point of care?