How Effective Is Your Digital Patient Support Services Offering?

Patient Experience | Patient Services | Pharma

Reading time: 6 minutes
Kirk Lohbauer

PeopleMetrics

More and more pharmaceutical manufacturers are offering patient services for their medications, and with that, they need to make numerous decisions on how they provide those services to patients.

Manufacturers need to decide:

  1. What services they will provide
  2. If their services will be in-house or outsourced
  3. What communication channels they’ll offer
  4. What to offer to patients digitally

This last item is a key decision with with many factors to consider.

Let's dive right in.



When building out your digital offerings, it’s important to understand what patients need from a digital offering.

In our recent independent study on patient services, PeopleMetrics spoke with over 400 patients to get their perceptions of the patient support services they use.

This study provided three key insights to be aware of when building or modifying your digital patient services offering:

1. Patients primarily use digital offerings to learn more about the services you provide

In our study, we found that the key differentiator for patients who used a website/portal for patient services program is that they had a greater awareness of all the services that their support services provided. 

When asked about awareness of specific services, awareness was as much as 20% higher for patients that utilized a digital offering. 

As such, any digital offering should be built first through the lens of outlining the full range of services provided through the program. 

Building awareness of all the services has a major impact. Our independent study found that most patients are satisfied with a service once they are made aware of it, and as a result, greater awareness tends to drive higher satisfaction. 

This is the case for patients that use digital support offerings, as their satisfaction is 50 points higher than patients that did not use these services.

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2. Digital offerings are especially good for connecting patients to additional resources

In our patient services webinar, we noted that one of the biggest unmet needs patients have for their patient support services provider is a connection to more knowledge on their condition and treatment.

Patients are looking for a trusted resource to get information on their condition. By using your digital offering to provide patients links to third-party organizations, you are able to build that trust and get patients to the services that they need. 

91% of patients in our study that used a digital offering were satisfied with how their support provider connected them to patient organizations. 

However, only 71% of patients that did not use a digital offering were satisfied with this connection to patient organizations.

This 20-point jump is one of the larger differences between digital users/non-users, and it further highlights how effective the digital offering can be in connecting patients with trusted resources.

 

3. There is room to improve digital offerings for prior authorization and insurance verification

Generally, patients that use digital offerings show higher awareness and satisfaction with their patient services provider, but there are two instances where using a digital channel has no impact on satisfaction: prior authorization and insurance verification.

These two complex tasks are generally handled by call center representatives or case managers, so digital channels usually don’t provide any benefit to these two services.

However, incorporating these into your digital offering will be a method for patient services providers to differentiate in the future.

Providing notifications and status updates for prior authorization / insurance verification can help guide patients through lengthy approval processes, without the need for phone call with a representative.

 


 

Generally, patients use digital offerings to get comprehensive information at their own pace. 

They want information on the services you provide, and they want information on what other third-party organizations can help them.

Looking ahead, the best patient support providers will be the ones that can provide patients with information on their prior authorization/insurance verification status.

As you continue to build and modify your digital offerings, it is important to collect feedback from patients to see how the changes you are making are improving the patient experience.

Contact us to learn more about how to effectively measure patient perceptions and find out if the changes you’re making are improving the every day interactions that patients have with your medication.

 

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About the Author

Kirk Lohbauer is a Senior Business Development Manager at PeopleMetrics. In his 6 years at PeopleMetrics, Kirk has worked extensively in all aspects of CEM program development from initial specifications, crafting a suggested program and surveys, survey launch, and subsequent action-taking and improvements. Outside of the office, Kirk can be found bicycling around Philadelphia, going to concerts, and trying his best to read a book at his coffee shop instead of reading Twitter (with varying degrees of success). Click here to get in touch.

Posted on 05-06-2020