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Designing a fantastic patient engagement program but no patients enrol

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Please note, this article contains references to Ashfield Engage which has now become Inizio Engage

Step 5 – Designing a fantastic Patient Engagement Programme but no patients enrol.

Sometimes even the best Patient Engagement Plans run into resistance and lead to little or no enrolment. When this occurs, it doesn’t mean that the entire programme needs to be scrapped,  but it does call for a different, more intensive approach to get HCPs and patients to take notice and understand the benefits.

Even your best efforts in designing and executing a Patient Engagement Programme that deals with the individual patient as a whole, can falter or fail to result in engagement. In this our final chapter in our blog series, Overcoming the hurdles faced in creating effective Patient Engagement Programmes we address what you can do to reach your enrolment goals.

Raising awareness with prescribers and HCPs

It has been reported that the biggest enrolment hurdles to overcome are often a result of HCPs not being aware of the programme, not understanding the benefits, or possibly considering enrolment a burden. In fact, it is true that many HCPs lack awareness of the patient services offered by the pharmaceutical industry.  In an Accenture research study, it was reported that

  • Only 40% of HCPs were “very aware” of pharmaceutical companies’ patient services
  • 46% of HCPs said they hear about patient services less than 25% of the time that they meet with their sales reps
  • Only 30% of pharmaceutical sales reps present services in terms of their ability to improve patient outcomes.

To help overcome this situation and raise awareness with prescribers and HCPs we recommend:

  • Talking to HCPs to understand their needs and what would motivate them to enrol patients.
  • Developing clear patient benefits statements and evidence of positive patient outcomes (tailored to the HCP and hospital/practice type).
  • Including a system for HCPs to receive feedback on their patients enrolled in the program.
  • Providing patient feedback and success stories.
  • Minimising enrolment actions for the HCP and provide different channel options to enrol (such as via the web, a phone number and traditional fax enrolment).

Making sure that the sales force is fully engaged is key to this effort.

The commercial sales force has a critical role to play in helping HCPs understand how to select appropriate patients for therapy, educating them on the benefits of Patient Engagement Programmes and explaining how to easily enrol their patients.

To make sure that your sales force is fully on board with the programme, we recommend ensuring that your programme is embedded into the brand strategy from the outset. You should also leverage your clinical educator teams to review the available services within your patent services programme to improve awareness, and equip both your sales force and clinical educator teams with compliant messages and materials. You might also want to consider a commercial service team as a highly effective and cost-efficient additional resource to raise awareness of the programme.

Best practices for engaging with patients

When designing a Personal Engagement Plan, it’s vital to fully understand patient needs and adherence challenges. Don’t rush into enrolment without considering how these insights can also help you communicate the benefits of enrolment to patients. We recommend that you:

  • Consider how to tailor the enrolment messages and imagery the same way care plans are tailored for individual patients.
  • Provide omnichannel opt-in options and an easy consent process.
  • Leverage pharmacists and/ or HUB providers to increase awareness of patient support available.
  • Make sure relevant patient associations understand the support available to patients.

View our patient engagement blog series and download our guidebook

Next-generation patient engagement programmes

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Our unique approach combines behavioural science, patient-centric technology and unparalleled collaboration.