If you are wondering what patient engagement entails, you are not alone. Patient engagement involves an interactive relationship between a provider and a patient to improve healthcare quality. This relationship is important because a significant aspect of patients’ health depends on their commitment to managing their conditions.
The use of pharmaceutical software solutions to build stronger relationships offers many benefits. When patients communicate freely and know they are one of the deciding factors, they comply with treatment regimens. Patient engagement leads to a high customer retention rate and an increased return on investment for a pharma business.
In this article, we will explore what patient-centricity means, strategies for effective patient engagement, how to measure the impact of CRM-driven technologies and the future of patient engagement in pharmacy.
What does “Patient-Centricity” in the Pharmaceutical Industry Mean?
Until recently, when launching, the pharma industry focused on the raw materials, the new product and its advantages over alternatives. Their goal was to make maximum profit, and they addressed any issues regarding patient satisfaction when the product was in the market. This traditional approach is no longer effective.
Patient centricity is transforming how pharmaceutical companies function. It ensures that patients’ needs are the driving force behind every decision-making process. This may involve:
- Seeking patients’ input regarding the clinical trials’ design,
- Providing support services both online and offline, and
- Getting feedback concerning adverse effects during post-marketing surveillance.
Platforce’s CRM system, for example, help enhance interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and its customers. Overall, the patient-centric approach increases patient satisfaction and business growth, improves the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation and leads to a cost-effective healthcare system.
Six Surefire Strategies for Effective Patient Engagement
There is no standard way to engage patients in health discussions. One should use different strategies concurrently to obtain maximum results. Here are six tools for effective patient engagement you should try out.
Patient Education Initiatives
Patient education involves providing information, support and skills to improve well-being. Sales reps engage patients through meaningful conversations to determine what they already know and assess their needs.
Because the literacy level may differ among patients, you should educate them at their level to gain trust. Additionally, patient education should include Q&A sessions for proper engagement. This will help establish rapport and assess patient satisfaction.
Rather than using one communication channel, it is wiser to interact with patients using different pharma marketing strategies. The use of omnichannel marketing to engage clients will generate more sales compared to a single channel.
Individual patients get information through different mediums. Furthermore, the pharma industry should use a combination of:
- traditional channels, including in-person consultation, phone calls, mail communications, and
- digital channels such as customized emails, social media, text messages, and healthcare blogs.
With well-structured multichannel marketing, your brand will get better awareness to enable you to reach your target quickly.
The use of personalization in medicine takes into account a patient’s personal information, including genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. Pharma industries use CRM technologies to store patients’ data, such as past interactions, preferences and behaviour, in a single file.
A patient’s records will assist in tailoring products to suit his unique needs. Furthermore, when patients see that you tailor treatments for them, they tend to share their health concerns more. Personalized medicine reduces the incidence of side effects and leads to better patient experience.
The use of direct feedback will give pharmacy businesses an overview of what the patients think about their services. It tells you the strong areas in the system and where to improve. Furthermore, patients remain loyal because you acknowledge them and their opinions.
Many companies use software solutions to automate the feedback process. You can set up triggers and follow-up messages using pharmaceutical software. It is crucial to send feedback from your end once you make changes based on the complaints you receive.
Segmentation of Patients
Segmentation using CRM can be dicey. Though it has advantages, one needs to approach it with care. Patient segmentation and targeting groups based on
- past medical history,
- preferred communication medium,
- demographic factors and
- patient behaviour.
Proper segmentation helps you identify what each client needs. Providing the right information through appropriate channels will inevitably lead to more engagement.
Giving rewards for reaching health milestones will leave patients with a feeling of belonging. It may involve giving discounts or having a raffle draw for those who complete an educational series.
The reward doesn’t have to be expensive to bring about a cascade of changes when it comes to the way patients manage their health. However, one should avoid substituting rewards with adequate health care. No matter how big the bonus may be, a pharma company may lose a patient if they don’t get better.
Importance of Collaborating with Healthcare Professionals to Ensure Effective Patient Engagement
For successful patient care, it is important to involve healthcare professionals actively. It involves teamwork between two or more specialists rather than focusing on just one. This modern practice emphasizes the fact that no medical professional has the ability to do it on his own.
For instance, when handling a patient with a diabetic wound infection, an endocrinologist, an infectious disease specialist and a nurse play critical roles. As a result, the patient can ask questions freely to understand how they take each action.
In addition to enhanced communication, pharma companies stand to gain the following when they collaborate with healthcare professionals
- Patients have more trust in the healthcare system when specialists play supportive roles.
- There are lower chances of costly errors and mistakes.
- HCPs can directly follow up with patients to improve medication adherence and compliance.
- These professionals also make sure the CRM tool records patients’ data according to laws and regulations.
- Additionally, feedback from the HCPs may include areas that a pharma company should work on
Five Proven Ways to Measure the Impact of CRM-driven Engagement in a Pharmaceutical Industry
After implementing customer engagement strategies, one needs to conduct periodic review to check how well these tools are doing. The following are some cost effective ways you can easily track the impact of your pharmaceutical software solutions.
You can use customer satisfaction scores to track the success of CRM-driven operations. Check the scores before and after making changes and look for lagging areas. Furthermore, you can ask a customer for reviews after an interaction.
A good customer satisfaction score shows that they have built a good relationship with your brand and are satisfied with your products and services.
The level to which patients use their drugs correctly after establishing CRM platforms gives an insight as to how it is working. Proper compliance when using drugs shows that patients fully understand the instructions the pharmaceutical industry provides.
Poor health outcomes may be a result of misunderstanding or dissatisfaction. In this instance, you should look for ways to build a stronger relationship with them.
Engagement metrics may include website traffic, customer visits, email open and click-through rates, and social media interactions. For social media engagements, focus on the number of views, likes and comments on your posts. An increase implies that your content is appealing and customers can relate well.
ROI of CRM Initiatives
The ROI you get after using CRM software can track if it is adding value to your pharmaceutical company. To get the ROI, calculate the total costs spent on the pharmaceutical software development, installation, licensing, support and training. This analysis will show if the system resonates with patients.
Customer Retention Rate
Customer retention rate will help pharmaceutical companies understand the relationship they have with their customers. A high retention rate implies that many patients use your drugs for a specified period. Customers remain loyal when you keep in touch through messages, newsletters, personalized emails or other channels.
Key Challenges in Patient Engagement Using Pharmaceutical Software Solutions
The process of improving patient interaction with your company may come with some issues. The following are some barriers to effective collaborative relationships between providers and patients
Literacy is key to effective patient engagement. Some patients find it challenging to understand basic health terminologies. Patients with low health literacy may not be able to express themselves when issues arise, and they may become passive participants in healthcare decisions.
Data Privacy Concerns
Pharmaceutical companies collect and store personal patient data. The privacy of the data is a concern when dealing with sensitive patients. Some customers may not open up fully if they fear that their data may be compromised. This lack of trust and insufficient data creates a barrier to active interactions.
There are laws and regulations to ensure ethics in data collection and the communication medium. Pharma companies must seek consent before analyzing data in any way. Additionally, using social media to communicate with patients comes with some regulatory limitations, and you cannot pass all drug information using social media platforms.
Future Trends for Patient Engagement in Pharmaceutical Companies
The use of pharmaceutical software solutions will continue to evolve to meet shortcomings. One key area is the use of blockchain to store patient data into blocks to improve data security. The future of patient engagement lies in Artificial intelligence and mobile CRM.
One of the difficulties pharma companies face is the enormous amount of patient data they analyze. AI is revolutionizing pharma CRM operations in many ways. With AI, you are sure of more accurate and faster data analysis. Furthermore, a CRM robot provides timely answers to queries and 24/7 support to serve patients better.
Mobile and Voice-activated CRM
In recent times, pharma CRM has become more mobile-friendly for a proactive healthcare approach. Pharmaceutical companies will access patients’ information in real-time anytime, anywhere.
In addition, patients can easily schedule appointments for telehealth consultations. Furthermore, voice technology is an important aspect of inception CRM. The use of voice commands provides a more quality and interactive healthcare system.
Key Takeaways on Pharmaceutical Patient Engagement
Patient engagement makes all the difference in a healthcare system, and with it, a pharmaceutical company stands out. You can build collaborative provider-patient relationships by using personalized medicine, multichannel communication, reward programs and proper education.
However, you should not stop at implementing these strategies. It is necessary to employ various measures to check if these patient engagement strategies are adding more value to your business. We hope this article has answered all your questions on patient engagement strategies in pharma CRM. Feel free to contact us for further inquiries and clarifications.
At Platforce, we specialize in making Pharma marketing seamless for you through our CRM-CLM Software. Ensure to keep in touch to stay at the cutting edge of the Pharma marketing industry!