talkhealth’s CEO Catriona Williams recently gave a talk to HCA members on the crucial importance of being patient-centric and what that actually means.
So often, we hear healthcare companies say that they want to put patients first but their communications don’t match up to that aim. Being ‘patient-centric’ involves putting patients at the heart of everything you do – designing a service or solution around the patient.
There’s so much good work being done in this country within the healthcare community but still, patients, carers and HCPs report issues. Waiting lists are too long, referrals are delayed and people feel isolated and unsupported by the lack of information and communication available. Healthcare companies can and should be filling that gap – offering genuine and insightful communications to patients beyond simple marketing material.
talkhealth provides a range of services but our members are at the forefront of everything we do. Because of that, we’re in a good position to share our ideas and experiences of making each of our three platforms ‘patient-centric’.
One easy way of better engagement with patients is via the ‘collaboration stakeholder model’.
That involves pharmaceutical and healthcare companies working with stakeholders to form an alliance of education, support and reach. Stakeholders might include:
- NHS Trusts
- GP surgeries
- Medical experts
- Social prescribing companies
- HR departments within corporate companies
- Governmental bodies (e.g. ACAS)
From our end, talking to these sorts of stakeholders has resulted in a number of positive actions, including:
- Development of talkhealth hubs
- Expert clinics
- Development of patient/carer support programmes
- Educational information packs for HCPs
- Social media educational campaigns
Our support programmes are arguably the best example of how you can be more patient-focussed. We’ve worked with lots of healthcare companies to develop a range of programmes designed to help patients better self-manage their conditions over a 12-20 week period. Often this support comes via sponsorship and we’re always open to any offers!
People tend to hear about our support programmes via a number of different channels, including:
- GPs and hospitals: our materials (posters/leaflets/waiting room screen adverts) are available in over 800 surgeries and 18 hospitals around the UK, reaching 6.8 million patients
- Directly from the talkhealth and talkhealthmedical websites and conferences
- Our social media platforms (14K followers)
- Stakeholders – supporters/sponsors, charities, councils, schools, football clubs, universities, NHS Trusts and corporate companies.
In other words, we have a truly huge reach to millions of patients.
If you want to get your message out there, you have to be patient-centric – and talkhealth can help with that.