Patients are powering up
Speaking of paying attention to patient needs…Many sources point to growing patient empowerment as a force to reckon with in medtech.
In a recent interview, industry leaders said patients are “progressively demanding more personalized approaches and better health care experiences.”
They went on to say that the traditional path of connecting with patients through the healthcare provider “will likely not be as effective in the coming years.” We can actually begin to see this happening now. Healthcare providers are spending less time with their patients. In a recent survey of 1,000 healthcare consumers, “54% of respondents reported they spent most of their time during a healthcare visit waiting for the doctor or nurse, while only 20% said they spent most of their time talking to doctors or nurses.”
As they focus on the issues at hand, they often run out of time to share information about new treatments or products. What’s worse, they may leave patients feeling like they have more questions than answers. In fact, a 2022 survey of 500 healthcare consumers found that more than half (56%) of respondents felt that doctors do not always give patients a chance to say what they need to say. So much for a personalized patient experience.
Two more issues are making this issue even worse.
- Downsizing – There’s growing pressure on medtech companies to downsize their workforce, including field sales staff. And some Integrated Delivery Networks are even calling for medtech sales staff to be cut back. Fewer reps mean fewer interactions with healthcare providers.
- Exodus from the medical profession – According to a 2022 “Clinician of the Future” report, 47% of clinician respondents in the United States plan to leave their jobs in the next several years. And 39% expect to exit the profession altogether. You can’t help if the doctors aren’t there.
So, less information about new products and treatments is coming from field reps to the healthcare provider. Less (or no) information then trickles down to patients from the provider (if they’re even still there). This means many patients are looking to step out of the traditional path to finding solutions to their health issues. What do we know about these patients?
- They have more access to more healthcare information than ever before.
- They don’t want to wait months or even years for answers.
- They are taking a more active role in their treatment and are out there searching for answers.
It’s time to partner with patients to improve their experience and help them achieve better health outcomes. But how? We’ve talked about collecting PPI. Let’s look at some other ways to help patients.