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Generating patient insights using co-design

Co-designing is an approach to improving patient-centric care. It is based on story-gathering with patients, staff and carers, and focuses on providing a better understanding of the patient journey.

People are becoming better educated about their own health conditions, and are playing an ever-increasing role in their own healthcare management. Every patient journey is different, and this will depend on a variety of different factors, including the patient's age, level of education, social situation, and culture, as well as the patient's current condition, their disease type, time since diagnosis, and stage of disease at diagnosis. The patient's condition will change according to the effectiveness of the treatment and the progression of the disease.  

With this in mind, marketing interactions need to be developed with a thorough understanding of the patient journey at every stage, from first awareness of a condition, through diagnosis and treatment decisions, to ongoing management, including adherence to medications and this is where co-design (or co-creation as it can be called) comes into play. 

What is co-design?
Co-designing is an approach to improving patient-centric care. It is based on story-gathering with patients, staff and carers, and focuses on providing a better understanding of the patient journey, with an aim to bring a human element to the interactions between patients and staff, and allowing staff the space and time to think about elements of care that they may not ordinarily have time to notice. 

The co-design process starts with workshops that involve the patients in designing the interview process, asking what questions would be the most pertinent and how the resulting information could best be used and shared. 

By providing the opportunity to connect the human face of patient care with managerial and clinical priorities, co-design can help to bring about attitudinal, behavioural and cultural change, led by the needs of the patient. It also provides narrative evidence for staff who may be struggling to deal with clinical and operational data. It can also bring about practical changes in patient care, for example involving carers at an earlier stage in the treatment process, or improving the process for patient discharge arrangements that allow patients to get home quickly, but with the support they need in place. 

What is different to the usual “focus group” approach?
The focus in co-design is very much on the interactions between patients and the stakeholders involved in patient support. The identification of tools/support/content required is solely driven by the patient, in essence they own the brief. It’s a collaboration. Its important the patient shows us how they think and feel, it is from this we get actionable insights. 

Benefits of co-design work for pharma
Below are just a few of the benefits that pharma can have by using patient insights at a deeper level.  

#1 Real insight
Knowledge of the patient journey is important when designing interactions, however insight is a game changer. By immersing yourself into the world of the patient you well gain an understanding that will have a profound impact on your messaging and approach to patient centricity. 

#2 Create real connections
Many patients and caregivers struggle with their condition and feel lonely, isolated and sometimes helpless. Pharma can use or develop the tools to facilitate ­connections patients needs. So a no-brainer really. 

#3 Building trust
Co-design helps all stakeholders understand each other’s contribution to improving the patient experience. Building trust back into the industry is important, patients are calling out for support, healthcare is becoming financially burdened, so pharma have an opportunity to build trust again and to also capitalise on the patient-centricity claims. 

#4 Regulations
Did you know that co-design is compliant? Its authentic and genuine, therefore compliant. Word of advice, make sure to involve your legal and regulatory teams early, the local conclusion here is that they will see the value of including the patient voice. 

#5 Continuous engagement
Co-design is not a one-time activity; it needs to be an ongoing process that drives engagement. By forming long-term relationships with patients and caregivers, pharma can use these insights to develop content and programs that continually meets the needs of patients and care givers.

If you enjoyed this post then c
lick on the link to download our white paper on designing person-centred care for every step of the patient journey here:

11th January 2016



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