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2021 Pharma CX Summit: 4 Key Takeaways Every Pharma Company Should Consider

A lot has changed for the Patient Experience over the past year. The need for excellent care has never been more important or expected.

President Trista Walker served as a panelist at the 2021 Pharma CX Summit, shedding light on key questions pharma companies should consider in this new environment. Here are key takeaways that Trista, along with fellow panelists Rachel Levy and Jared Shechtman, offered. The session was moderated by Medallia’s Richard Schwartz

Changes in tech adoption and provider-consumer behavior paves the way for substantial patient experience improvements 

Collaboration and open-source research are necessities for getting through a global pandemic. 2020’s unprecedented industry collaboration has improved health outcomes and set new expectations. 

Technology advancements accelerated during the pandemic. According to Verizon, 5G and cloud computing advanced by the equivalent of 20 years during the first four months of the pandemic. These advances will enable faster adoption of wearables and other IoT-dependent health management devices. 

Providers and patients also adopted digital health enablers at an unprecedented pace, where visits in apps like Teladoc skyrocketed during the pandemic One big city health system saw an increase in telemedicine visits from about 50 to 2,500 a day. 

Importance of patient experience focus for pharma marketers in 2021

Brand adoption and adherence is a virtuous cycle. Patient experience has been – and remains – important and differentiating for brands. Patients have become more empowered, more informed and much more likely to advocate for themselves. At the same time,
healthcare is complex with more players in the mix than ever. An unprecedented number of technology and platform companies introduced therapeutics at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Your valued patients are now “customers” of not only your brand, but also of their healthcare provider, the health system, pharmacist, insurance company, and possibly a tech platform and smart device – all involved in helping to manage one or more aspects of the patient’s health experience. 

Pharma companies are competing for brand share and loyalty with companies with substantially greater focus on consumer experience. And consumers (i.e. patients) measure experience against the last, best experience they had. Consumers know what is possible and expect to encounter customer-centric experiences everywhere. Your brand must measure up to more nimble, forward-thinking competitors unconstrained by the pharma status quo. With new opportunities to learn and measure experiences in real time, brands should pay attention and take advantage of the learning to create better and better experiences. 

Patient experience and the pharma industry

It’s no secret that it’s been more difficult for pharma than other industries to create exceptional experiences and, unfortunately, pharma often gets a bad rap. Industry consultants and agencies must recognize the challenges that come with the two-way dialogue that great experiences rely upon. We need to partner with our pharma colleagues to help them gather insights in ways that won’t put the brand at risk – and to understand their world and how to navigate it. At BNO we call this “keeping the colleague experience” in balance with the customer experience. 

We can start by understanding the realities of medical-legal-regulatory constraints and helping our pharma partners navigate two-way feedback opportunities in the right way. 

Analytics and technology impact on patient experience

Use of chat technologies and social media has grown with a threefold increase in consumers claiming they will use social channels, webchat, messenger apps and SMS chat as their main means of communicating with organizations in the new reality. (KPMG, 2020)

These digital channels provide new opportunities to learn how patients wish to engage and are engaging with healthcare providers and brands. Many health systems have implemented SMS technology to check in with COVID patients, accelerating adoption of this method of communication and using it to create deeper relationships with their patients. 

Insight analytics has grown in capability during this time as well. Platforms like Medallia’s Living Lens are enabling richer, deeper insights from research conducted via video-conference technologies. BNO recently used this platform to analyze the results of qualitative research for a global biopharmaceutical client to uncover not only major themes but also participant sentiment, emotion recognition and environmental similarities. 

Balancing digital and human experiences remains important, and should not be overlooked as digital experiences become more common and increasingly sophisticated. 

It’s an exciting time for pharma to improve patient experiences exponentially but, at the end of the day, it’s really all about getting the simple things right. Approach market research like a patient first and marketer second. There are endless opportunities for carving a space out in the market – the secret is finding one that fits the nuances and needs of your patients.

About BNO

BNO is a woman-owned, full-service creative agency that helps clients develop relevant and meaningful brand connections. We believe in the power and the promise of uniquely human thinking, creativity, and innovation. We believe in bolts of inspiration, bursts of brilliance, and rushes of emotion – transformed into engaging stories and striking visuals that drive real business results. Can we help your business grow? Contact us.

About Pharma CX Summit

Now in its 8th year, the Pharma CX Summit brings together 250+ customer experience leaders of pharma to share how the industry can design and deliver more seamless customer experiences for patients, payers, and providers. The summit focuses on three main customer segments and examines how pharma can use technology, data, and design to drive customer engagement and outcomes in a real and measurable way.