There’s a lot of talk in the healthcare space about patient centricity, or putting the patient in the middle of the care experience. While patient centricity is a major step-up from the current model most healthcare practices use, what we really need to focus on is patient-first engagement. Patients need to be the top priority at all times and they should always feel supported.
This is especially true when it comes to managing chronic illnesses like cancer or diabetes. Patients who live with these conditions are no strangers to healthcare facilities, and they especially don’t want to experience setbacks in their quality of care. But to provide high-quality care, effective communication between patients and providers is non-negotiable. When healthcare professionals provide an avenue for regular patient communication, patients can update their providers on their experience, concerns and symptoms in real-time.
Not only does regular communication improve the healthcare experience by offering real-time support, but it also improves the clinical trial process. This is crucial for chronic illness patients, as these patients tend to be more frequent participants in clinical trials. Clinical trials provide these patients with the option to take an active role in their care and allow them to participate in the study of potentially life-saving drugs. Trials are extremely beneficial and vital to the healthcare industry, but they only work when regular communication is present.
To put this in perspective, consider these statistics. Forte Research reported that a staggering 85% of clinical trials fail to retain enough patients due to lack of appreciation, misunderstood expectations, scheduling conflicts and forgetting visits. A 2018 study by Pharmacy Connection also reported that of the 134 medication incidents that were present in the study, 78 of them were attributed to poor communication.
By not communicating cohesively, the process not only becomes more tedious, but patient well-being can become compromised. When providers fail to communicate effectively with patients, the FDA will not have sufficient data to approve the drug being studied, and when the FDA doesn’t have the data it needs, patients that were benefitting from the trial suddenly lose access to their treatment.