The Problem with Patient Centricity

Join me in a conversation with Mark Doyle from The Method, where we discuss the the challenges and opportunities of patent centricity in healthcare.

IS IT OK TO BE PATIENT OBSESSED? – SUPPORTING PHARMA TO IGNITE AND DRIVE THEIR PATIENT CENTRICITY STRATEGIES

See the article from The Method website DECEMBER 16, 2021 BY CLAIRE

“WE ALL KNOW THAT PUTTING PATIENTS AT THE HEART OF CARE WILL ULTIMATELY LEAD TO BETTER OUTCOMES. BUT WE ALSO KNOW THAT BECOMING TRULY PATIENT-CENTRIC IS NOT ALWAYS EASY.

THE PROBLEM WITH PATIENT CENTRICITY

Mark Doyle, creator of A Life in a Day, hosted a lively and interactive Zoom webinar with Susan Hendrich, Learning Director for Respiratory, Immunology and Infectious Disease at AstraZeneca, about the problem of patient centricity.

Mark and Susan spoke about the barriers to achieving patient-centric working within the pharma industry. From the danger of sacrificing the patient voice for commercial goals and making it meaningful for each and every person within the sector to the difficulty of measuring patient-centric impact.

As one of our clients, Susan is understandably passionate about putting patients at the centre of everything she does, and shares real insight into what patient centricity means to her and how she approaches it in her work.

A major highlight of the session was Mark’s provocation that the term ‘patient centricity’ may in itself be a barrier to achieving it. He posed the radical question of whether, to achieve real patient centricity, we need to find a new term that inspires and motivates change. Acknowledging that the term is contentious and provocative by design, Mark suggested that perhaps we could achieve the goal of patient centricity if we replace it with ‘patient obsessed’. It certainly led to some interesting and thought-provoking conversation!

WHY WE SHOULD BECOME ‘PATIENT OBSESSED’ INSTEAD OF PATIENT-CENTRIC

During the webinar, Mark presented his concerns about the term ‘patient centricity’. With no universal definition, it can be difficult to associate patient centricity with your own work and risks becoming nothing more than a tick box exercise.

“If everybody was truly obsessed with the patient and helping [the] patient, it has the potential to do what patient centricity says it will do, which is to radically alter the treatments, the clinical trials, the way research is conducted, the way it’s communicated to patients, the way hcps interact with patients. I believe it could radically alter and ultimately improve the lives of patients, which is what patient centricity is supposed to do….I just feel like maybe we need to push it a bit further and reignite the benefit and enthusiasm of it.”Mark Doyle

Susan agreed with the idea of being much more focused on the patient and challenged the audience to look at ways they can push this within their own companies. If a business makes the patient its focus and all activities stems from that, the corporate gains will come.

To unlock the potential of patient centricity the industry must go further. The most successful companies will be those who are able to equally balance patients’ needs with commercial goals and operations, making both a priority.

FALL: Freedom for All to Live and Learn

Simon Sinek talks about the importance of being able to fall.

Thank goodness. Because I fall. I fall a lot.

I fell last week. It was a mistake, but I am responsible for it happening and for the upset that it caused. 

Even though I try my best to be a great leader by lifting others and shining a light on their path so they can succeed, sometimes I end up being an obstacle in their path. It doesn’t feel good to make a mistake or miss a mark or disappoint someone. That’s the first arrow.

But the second arrow is dwelling on that mistake instead of taking accountability, learning from it, dusting yourself off, and moving forward.  Like my mentor once said, “Take the hit, then, bounce.”

Check out this video of Simon sharing his view on “falling.” Simon Sinek on Falling

Did you know that Babe Ruth struck out more than 1300 times? History doesn’t dwell on that fact. History remembers his home runs. And Babe Ruth didn’t dwell on those strikeouts. In fact, his philosophy was that every strikeout brought him closer to his next home run.

The concept of being willing to fall reminds me of the universal celebration that erupts when a staff member drops a glass in a restaurant.

Crash…Hurray!

What happens at a restaurant when a server drops a glass and it shatters on the floor? 

Fellow restaurant staff cheer and clap! Why?  here’s my theory:

  1. Most people are just trying their to do their job to the best of their ability
  2. Everybody makes mistakes
  3. A team is a village that takes care of its own
  4. Take the hit, then bounceWhen we feel safe to FALL—to have the Freedom to Live and Learn without the fear of humiliation or loss of status, the world is a better place.

What would be different if next time you were to celebrate when you FALL?  The moment when something goes awry is a chance for the culture to be tested. Use it as an opportunity to demonstrate grace, invite experimentation, and celebrate the effort it takes to clean up and start again. And remember the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where we can become stronger in the broken places. 

Kintsugi: The art of embracing damage.

Is it possible to be more beautiful in the broken places?

Recently, I sent a message to my friend who was struggling, in hopes of lifting her spirits.

My friend had been feeling down. Defeated. Convinced that she wasn’t capable or deserving of success. I knew better, of course. I’ve known her more than half my life. I’ve watched her rise from an aspiring writer to international best selling author. Countless reasons, I could offer, as to why she’s more than capable and perfectly deserving of success.  With indignance, I wanted to shout at her, “You’re already successful! Do you know how many people would dream to live your life for even just one day?”

I had really good intentions that day. It was a thrill, in fact, to think that I could be of help to a hero. Here was little old regular me, being asked to Help…Fix…Repair…Heal…this amazing role model of mine, who happened to be struggling. Being able to nurture and support this person who has served as a model of excellence for me for decades. Here was my chance to make a difference!

And the way I chose to help this supersuccessful person to feel better? I denied her feelings. Not a good thing, turns out.

I countered every single negative thought she was having with a reason why she was wrong and “should feel great” or “ought to forgive” herself or “was being too hard” on herself.

Thinking I was helping, actually I was making it worse. I took away her right to suffer. In fact, I teetered on the cusp of shaming her for feeling down.

With all the best intentions, I missed the whole point. She was feeling broken and needed to let the pieces fall on the floor in front of her.

Realizing that I was making things worse by only focusing on the sunny side and by denying her need to feel broken and fall apart, I suddenly remembered a concept I once heard about the importance of being able to “fall into” pain rather than simply denying it. This concept, I was now remembering, was about honoring and highlighting the broken parts. Drawing attention to the damage, even!

So, what is this radical-acceptance-like process of honoring and even highlighting our failures and broken parts?

It’s called Kintsugi, and it’s a beautiful way of turning damage into beauty.

The Japanese practice of “kintsugi” is the art of embracing damage. Check out this Kintsugi video:

“Now you shall transform to a new level, my friend. Think wabi-sabi and kintsugi: the art of embracing damage!”

Now remembering this concept of being stronger in the broken places, I stopped my barrage of “happy thoughts” and apologized mid-conversation to my friend. I acknowledged that I’d been trying to deny the fact that she felt broken. I was trying to pretend the cracks weren’t there. I told her that I’d suddenly remembered this Japanese art of Kintsugi, and that I would send her a video to illustrate the concept right away. We ended the conversation awkardly, and I seriously questioned whether I knew how to be a good friend.

Pushing past my disappointment in myself, I sent her the Kintsugi video, hoping that she was still open to my support, even after I’d botched and Pollyanna’d my way through our earlier conversation. After I sent the note and video link, I started to question myself.

“Who am I to tell this highly successful and internationally recognized thought leader how to live?”

“Why do I always appoint myself as the ambassador of all that is positive?”

“What if she resents my message and sees it as patronizing?”

There I was, spiraling to all my places in my head where my own brokenness lurks.

Worrying about how my friend might feel after I’d missed the point with her suffering, I was spinning in my own broken parts, thinking…

I’ve spent my whole life embracing the broken, the not quite, and the almost…

  • Saving birds with broken wings
  • Fixing toys with broken parts
  • Cheering for the underdog
  • Coaching those who don’t yet believe in themselves
  • Coaxing sunshine from clouds

Just as my negative self-talk was reaching a fervent pitch in my head, the phone rang.

There was my friend, laugh-crying through the phone line, telling me how she finally felt understood. The video just spoke to her. Captured her. She told me how she felt connected to this concept of embracing damage. How she IS kintsugi. How this concept of mending the broken pieces with gold and proudly displaying them was exactly what she’d needed. It was a great moment, and not just because my friend was feeling better or because I’d been able to help her. It was a great moment because she and I were creating Kintsugi in real time. We were piecing back together a set of broken shards of a conversation and making the resulting product even better than when we’d started.

I knew on that day that I would never look at broken pottery in the same way again.

Now, whenever either of us faces a rough patch in life, or when things fall apart altogether, a single word helps us both begin to put the pieces back together and to anticipate an even more beautiful outcome than the original situation could have intended.

Kintsugi.

Embracing the damage. More beautiful in the broken places.

 

Get a Sponsor – Be a Sponsor

SPONSOR VERSUS MENTOR: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

You might wonder what is the difference between a Mentor and a Sponsor.

MENTOR: A mentor is someone who helps you “in the room” – directly guiding, listening, coaching, and supporting you in your development.

SPONSOR; A sponsor is someone who helps you when you’re not in the room — indirectly championing your reputation, opportunities, and directly saying your name in the right moments to the right people.

So, you want a “Sponsor” to help you succeed in your career?

First, choose someone that you would like to speak on your behalf when you’re not in the room. Then, be courageous to ask them directly to be a sponsor!

Here are three things to request from your Sponsor:

  1. SAY MY NAME: “I would love for you to say my name when you see opportunities to highlight my value in your interactions with others.”
  2. TICKET TO THE GAME: “Would you be willing to bring me to your _____ meeting so I can see how you lead?”
  3. SHARE YOUR FAME: “May I ask you to lend your credibility/relationship with ______ to help me make a connection with him/her?”