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What about me? Human centricity rather than patient centricity…

While the pace of change within the digital transformation brings both benefits and challenges, are HCPs being left behind?



"We are the hero of our own story” wrote the 20th century novelist Mary McCarthy, but what happens when a plot twist turns a hero into a bureaucrat?

And, how does this change affect the sense of self and perception of that individual?

In many ways, this is the challenge faced by healthcare professionals (HCPs) today, wherever they are practising in the world. In addition to the age-old pressures of cost containment and ever-increasing workloads, physicians are increasingly facing new battlefronts in the shape of technology, patient expectations and data overload.

While the pace of change within the digital transformation affects us all, bringing both benefits and challenges, HCPs are reporting an increasing generational divide. A recent qualitative study conducted by Porterhouse Insights among primary care physicians highlighted a stark technological contrast between GP partners and their junior GP colleagues, leading to vastly different strategies being devised in order to optimally communicate with these stakeholder groups.

A notable analogy for the change in status of a given specialty group is the journey that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-treating specialists have been on over the last 30 years or so. These HCPs have gone from life-saving superheroes at the sharp end of life-and-death decision-making to managers of a well-controlled chronic disease. While the advances in antiretroviral therapy (ART) have transformed the prognosis for a whole patient cohort, the role and sense of self of HIV specialists has undeniably changed, which in turn has altered the way in which medical communication messages are absorbed, actioned and implemented.

The rise of patient centricity and technologically driven healthcare decision-making is likely to have a similar role on the evolution of medicine over the next few years, with an accompanying shift in the HCPs’ sense of self and role in the wider world.

Navigating these changes will be important to ensure that appropriate treatment is delivered to the right patient at the right time. Adopting an insight-driven approach to understanding these changes in status will differentiate the companies adapting to the new environment from others.

The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF)1 has a number of key tenets that relate to the sense of self in terms of social and professional role and identity, but also beliefs about capabilities, optimism, intentions and goals. We believe using this model as the basis for primary qualitative and quantitative HCP research holds the key to unlocking relevant strategies for ensuring the success of new treatment approaches.

For a conversation about how we can help generate these actionable insights, drop Fabrice a line at Porterhouse Insights: fabrice.allum@porterhouseinsights.com

-----1. Michie S, van Stralen MM and West R. The behaviour change wheel: A new method for characterising and designing behaviour change interventions. Implement Sci 2011; 6: 42.

14th May 2018

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