Thursday, May 20, 2021

Reframing the Transformation of Patient Services

Amarinder SidhuVice President, Deloitte

HLTH Foundation

Digital technologies can improve many parts of the patient experience, and complex therapy journeys are no exception. Reaching and supporting people through their desired channels, at the right time, makes meaningful improvements to their therapy adherence—which results in better health outcomes. 

As the demand for patient support services continues to evolve and grow, the technology for person-centered care is finally available. Life sciences companies and manufacturers have the ability to adapt and deliver next-generation patient services to improve patient health in connected ecosystems. 

Here are five ways life sciences companies can take action and begin to adapt: 

#1: Recognize increasing service and experience expectations from patients. 

Health consumers have an expectation of services and experiences based on the digital products they use as consumers. Immediacy is now the norm and there really is an app for almost everything. Need a ride or takeout? Open an app and you’re done in two minutes. Need to buy just about anything? It just takes a couple of taps—and you’ll have exactly what you need in two days, if not sooner.  

Having experienced these user-friendly and intuitive interactions, patients can’t help but demand them across other facets of their day-to-day life, including healthcare. They want their healthcare experiences to be easy, efficient, and intuitive. When it comes to life sciences organizations, the stakes are high because the patient’s wellness may very well depend on the support they receive in these digital touchpoints. 

While the health care industry has been slower to adapt than other sectors, digital transformation is picking up speed. There is an opportunity to shift life sciences patient services from an agent-centered support function to patient-centered. This means more self-service, more workflow automation, and agents equipped with better insights to help patients. 

#2: Reframe the patient engagement problem.

Delivering a good patient engagement experience is both a data and design challenge. How do you leverage patient data, with appropriate consent, for delivering right-sized service programs? How do you build differentiated web and mobile experiences at scale? Answering these questions reframes engagement in terms that lead to more effective, faster solutions.


#3: Advocate for internal management of the patient experience. 

Outsourcing may have worked in the past, and it may still be an option for specialized service transactions (e.g. prior authorizations), but overall coordination of service delivery for a differentiated patient experience should be handled internally. Manufacturers need to own their patient service platforms to gain a more longitudinal view of patient interactions and data.

This approach requires a long-term view of technology investments. It empowers organizations to build deeper relationships with patients, facilitate access, increase trust, and drive adherence. It’s also the leading way to address the growth of specialty products and personalized therapies, which require more integrated patient services. 

When patient services programs are outsourced, it’s harder for life sciences organizations to demonstrate, with certainty, how their products are delivering value and making meaningful improvements to their patients’ outcomes. 

So, it’s not surprising more and more organizations are choosing to insource the patient engagement platforms in-house. 

#4: Ensure the systems being used to build patient services programs are flexible and scalable. 

Life sciences organizations should aim to deploy and enable a cost-effective platform that is sized for their current situation, while making sure it has a foundation that can scale as they grow and add new services and therapies. To do this, they can start small and take an iterative approach to deployment. It’s wise to demonstrate the value of a new in-house patient services platform by starting with one or two therapies and building from there. 

Our Deloitte team recently deployed our industry-leading ConvergeHEALTH Connect for Life Sciences platform at a global life sciences company to help them meet patients’ needs both today and in the future. Our solution works on top of Salesforce Health Cloud in a way that is flexible and scalable, building unique and transformative capabilities specifically focused on supporting client needs in patient services. This work is just one part of a much larger journey we have taken with this client to transform their patient experience.

With the deployment of this award-winning solution, touchpoints across an organization’s support programs are cohesive, facilitating engagement with patients across multiple seamlessly integrated digital channels. Access issues are eliminated, making it possible to meet each patient where they are—engaging in ways that align with individual preferences. 

The platform has also been tailored to each of the geographic areas the organization serves. This not only allows companies to configure their engagement for different populations, but it means their new patient services programs can adapt as the industry and patient needs continue to evolve.  

#5: Understand that the benefits of a comprehensive patient services experience are already proving to be game-changing.

If we have learned nothing else from our four years of successful deployments of ConvergeHEALTH Connect for Life Sciences, we have learned that having a single source of truth for customer interactions generates data and insights that can transform the way life sciences organizations engage with patients across age groups and diverse backgrounds. 

Since launching their new platform, the leading global life sciences company we worked with has been able to: 

  • Accelerate patient onboarding and access with enrollment streamlined across multiple channels, reducing the time to therapy 
  • Improve therapy adherence with configurable program management, including helpful education and support touchpoints
  • Reduce the administrative burden with the introduction of more efficient document management


As life sciences organizations adopt this way of thinking, they’re ready to begin deploying differentiated experiences to provide more meaningful patient engagement, improve health outcomes, build deeper relationships, and support personalized therapies for patients. 

Research shows that consistent engagement across multiple channels enables better, faster access to therapies and medications, empowers patients to improve therapy adherence with well-timed support and education, and creates much-needed feedback loops. The faster we can make it the norm, the better everyone’s health can be. 

To learn more about how Deloitte collaborates with life sciences organizations to deploy a platform that is ready to provide memorable, scalable patient services, visit our website.

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