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.

Story Spines Can Inspire Change

Once Upon a Time, You Created Change…

Storytelling has long been a vehicle for creating a journey of the imagination, a journey in which a transformation happens. In his March 2012 Fast Company article, “Using Great Storytelling To Grow Your Business,” Kaihan Krippendorff writes about how to use effective storytelling to drive change and growth in an organization. He references a tool called a Story Spine, which is a simple bunch of sentence stems that provide the skeleton for building a story. The Story Spine is a tool developed by Kenn Adams as a way for improvisers (actors who work without a script) to build a classic story.

The basic Story Spine structure

Once there was…
And every day…
Until one day…
And because of that…
And because of that…
And because of that…
Until finally…
And so…

Optional ending line: The moral of the story is…

Sound familiar? Many fairy tales and children’s stories, as well as novels and movies,  fit in this story structure. Elegant & easy! So, what if we could use story spines to map out a vision for changing ourselves? Simple genius! Here’s a great Harvard Business Review article that guides us on using Story Spines to craft a vision for changing our own circumstances: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/a_simple_exercise_to_help_you.html.

Bonus Freebie

There are hundreds of possible Story Spine variations, and here’s one:

  • [The balance]: Once upon a time … and every day …
  • [The un-balance]: But then one day …
  • [The quest for a resolution]: … and because of that … and so … until finally ….
  • [The new balance]: … and ever since that day ….

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Your Turn

Now, how will you use a Story Spine to create change in your own life? Share your thoughts in a comment here!

Create a Contest

Build Organizational Positivity: Run a Story Contest

Remember in school when you had to write an essay on “What I did this summer?” This was your teacher’s way of teaching you the art of storytelling. Well, who ever said the storytelling should stop just because we’re all grown up? 

Everyone Wins

Soliciting stories from members of your organization is a quadruple win:

  • Storytellers enjoy the chance to highlight a meaningful experience, a proud moment or an appreciated person
  • Leaders learn about positive things happening within the organization
  • Teams enjoy the chance to share important events, moments with each other
  • The organization gains a purposeful archive of the great efforts, triumphs and creativity of its individuals and teams

An effective technique for eliciting stories from the people in your organization or from your customers is to run a story contest with winners and prizes. It’s amazing how excited adults can get over sharing stories. So, how do you create a contest?

Run a Story Contest in 7 Easy Steps

1. Define your contest. What is the purpose? What kind of information do you hope to elicit? Do you want individual stories, workplace stories, or excellent customer service stories? Ask a question that excites your target audience’s imagination. Examples:

  • What do I like best about working here?
  • How has our product or service improved the quality of daily life?
  • What does the future looks like if we succeed?

2. Decide how you’ll use the stories. Will the stories appear in your magazine, your intranet site, your internet site, your management meeting, or maybe on a special wall in the building?

3. Determine the prize(s) you’ll use to incentivize people to participate. Make sure that they are appropriate for your organization, audience, and budget.

4. Establish your timeline and budget. Include the cost of prizes, translations, marketing, and time required. How long will your contest run? Build in time to market the contest, review the entries, and select a winner. Work backwards from your deadline.

5. Draw up the rules. Figure out how you will judge entries in advance – you’ll need to communicate this to participants.

6. Launch your contest. Develop and execute your marketing plan, including the who, what, where and when information on the contest. Monitor submissions, adjusting your marketing efforts as needed.

7. Select and announce your winner(s) and any runner-ups. Notify winners directly in advance before formal announcements are made.  Use winning entries in your communications, as planned.

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Your turn: Have you ever participated in a contest? What type of contest would you like to run? Leave a comment here to share your ideas.