Supporting the patient journey – maximising patient engagement to improve outcomes
The aim of medical care is to improve survival and quality of life for patients. Those with long-term and life-limiting conditions have particular needs due to the progressive and/or long-term nature of the underlying pathophysiology. However, it is now clear that patients who are engaged in their own health and treatment may have better outcomes. Biopharma companies that take a proactive approach to patient centric care are more likely to see outcomes similar to those anticipated from clinical trial data. This can be facilitated and supported through patient support programs (PSPs) that are not only tailored to the disease type and stage, but also to the patient’s preferences and situation, adapting over time according to need. Effective support programs which combine human interaction with technology to empower and educate patients may have both short- and long-term impact on patient outcomes and healthcare utilisation.
The role of patient support
Patients with long-term conditions can benefit from support throughout their journey, from point of diagnosis through the natural history of the disorder and its treatment. This can range from education and help in understanding a new and potentially life-changing diagnosis, through to learning treatment techniques and monitoring outcomes. But putting the right support in the right place at the right time to meet the patient’s specific needs is the key challenge to the healthcare ecosystem.
The design of a PSP and its communication channels will vary across conditions. For example, a program for a familial disorder may need to be positioned towards children and their carers but then adapt over time as the child moves into adulthood. In contrast PSPs supporting patients with multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis should focus on the needs of adults who may be working and raising families. The ... ...