Patient centricity has become one of the most important attributes in healthcare today, as it has been proven to positively affect patient outcomes and satisfaction, while significantly reducing overall costs. In this article, we will look at what using a patient-centric method in clinical trials really means, why it is important, and methods to improve patient engagement in clinical trials. We will also examine the ways different companies are integrating patient centricity into their strategy.
What Does Patient Centricity Mean?
Patient centricity is an approach to healthcare that puts the patient at the center of everything we do. It starts with understanding the patient’s needs and preferences, and then designing all aspects of the care experience around them. This includes everything from how we communicate with patients, to the type of treatments we offer, to the way we design our facilities.
The concept of centering care has received a lot of attention in recent years, and with good reason. One of its main benefits is that it makes our healthcare system more efficient by addressing an often-overlooked problem: patients are more likely to participate in their own care when they are treated with respect and as partners rather than passive observers. It also increases outcomes because it means doctors can focus on what really matters most to their patients: providing them with care that improves their lives.
To achieve a truly patient-centric approach, however, requires change from everyone involved in a healthcare organization. Whether you’re a doctor or nurse, administrator, or IT specialist, patient centeredness is everyone’s responsibility. So how do we get there?
As a first step, we need to make sure we have a clear definition of what patient-centric care is, and then focus on delivering an excellent experience for our patients. This means making sure they are involved in decisions about their care and how they want to be treated, providing them with information and being sensitive to their needs.
It also means that doctors, nurses, and other caregivers understand what matters most to their patients so they can work together with them to deliver better outcomes. This may require training and education across all departments, but it’s essential if we want a system that’s truly patient centric.
Healthcare organizations can focus on educating and training their staff to understand what patients want and how they want to be treated. Some hospitals have already started doing this by holding town hall meetings and other group sessions where doctors, nurses and others talk about patient-centric care issues.
Town halls can also help improve communication between departments so everyone understands each other’s roles in delivering better outcomes for patients. These kinds of activities are valuable because they allow everyone involved in healthcare to feel like part of a team working towards common goals.
Challenges For A Patient Centric Approach
One challenge for a patient centric approach is that patients may not be able to or want to participate in every aspect of their care. For example, some patients may not want to have to understand all options before making a choice and would rather go with the option that a doctor they trust recommends.
Another challenge is that patients’ needs and preferences vary, so it can be difficult to design a one-size-fits-all approach. Additionally, some patients may be reluctant to speak up about their needs or may not even know what they need.
One solution to these challenges is creating an effective patient engagement plan. A good plan will ensure that everyone is on board with using a patient-centric approach and will outline steps to make patients’ needs a priority. You can include ways for patients to get involved and share their input into how trials are designed, managed and communicated throughout all stages of research.
Patient Centricity in Clinical Trials
A patient-centric approach in clinical trials is one that starts with the needs and preferences of patients. It is important to involve patients in every step of the clinical trial process from recruitment to follow-up.
A patient-centric approach starts with research questions that are meaningful to patients and their families. The process of answering these questions should begin as early as possible, which means involving patients from planning stages through follow-up.
Making data accessible to participants is important for improving trust between researchers and participants. This approach not only helps patients understand how their participation can benefit future patients, but it also encourages them to stick with studies when they encounter challenges such as side effects or the desire to dropout during testing.
A patient-centric approach to clinical trials has several challenges that can stand in its way. One of these is financial support for patient centric studies. Researchers who want to study a disease that affects fewer people may find it difficult to get funding.
Another challenge is ensuring that changes designed around making clinical trials more patient-centric are adopted widely. If only 20% of the patients in the trial are utilizing and working with doctors to make the trial more patient-centric, it will be hard to continue using patient-centric methods.
There are several ways researchers can work to increase patient centricity in clinical trials. One is to collect as much data as possible during recruitment and screening. This data should include patients’ needs, preferences, experience and perspectives.
Another way to improve a patient-centric approach is to involve patients from early stages of planning. Researchers should ask questions such as what aspects of a disease they want to study, how best to engage with participants throughout studies, and which outcomes are most important for them at different points in their disease trajectory.
Getting patients involved at the beginning of the trial will help them feel like they are contributing more to the trial and may make them more willing to talk to researchers when they see something that should be changed. Design by patients and for patients can help you develop a trial that targets real needs, which will increase its chances of success.
You can also increase support for a patient-centric method through stakeholder involvement, such as advocacy groups and regulatory agencies. Using a patient-centric approach can also help you obtain funding for your clinical trial.
For example, The National Cancer Institute offers a research grant program dedicated to new approaches to improve patient engagement in clinical trials. Some other sources of support include non-profit organizations, universities and foundations that have initiatives focused on addressing challenges related to patient participation in clinical trials.
Using Patient Centricity to Improve Clinical Trials
Patient-centricity means putting the patient at the center of everything we do in clinical trials. This includes everything from the design of the trial itself to the way we interact with patients throughout the process.
There are many benefits to a patient-centric approach. For one, it can help improve patient recruitment and retention rates. It can also lead to better data quality, since patients are more likely to stick with a trial if they feel like they’re being heard and their needs are being met.
Let’s take a look at some practical strategies for improving patient centricity in clinical trials.
- Design for a full experience, not just an outcome: It’s important to remember that a clinical trial is more than just an intervention. The patients’ entire experience of participating in a trial is part of what they ultimately evaluate when they make their treatment decision.That includes how they are recruited, included and engaged in your study. Focus on providing a consistent patient experience across every step of their interaction with your company and every phase of your study.
- Don’t overlook local preferences: It can be tempting to focus on global trends when trying to improve patient experience. While it’s important to keep tabs on industry best practices, resist any urge to impose an identical approach globally.Patient expectations vary greatly by geography and culture, so think about what will work for each individual market or even trial site. For example, changing just a few words of a pre-screening questionnaire can help you get more relevant responses from patients who speak your language and have shared cultural touchpoints. Even a minor change like that can help boost patient engagement with your company and your study.
- Don’t overlook those who are tough to reach: Patients who are busy, unwell or generally distracted may not take part in surveys or provide their feedback as frequently as others. However, don’t underestimate their power as influential advocates for your brand.Find new ways to get honest, detailed feedback from patients who aren’t always easy to reach — and use that information to improve everything from trial design to patient recruitment tactics.
- Don’t ignore non-traditional sources of insight: As part of a patient-centric approach, you can use valuable insights from sources outside your typical patient pool. For example, medical professionals may have more detailed information about specific drugs or other interventions that patients will want to know when making their treatment decisions.Focus groups and feedback sessions with clinicians are a great way to hear about what’s working and what isn’t in trials — and how your company can improve in both areas.
- Consider shifting focus from data to voice: While data is valuable for informing your company’s strategy, nothing speaks louder than patient stories. Create a space for patients to share their experiences and opinions about your company and your clinical trials, both good and bad.Whether it’s through user-generated content or inviting patients to give feedback through video testimonials, make sure you’re listening when they speak up. It can be tough to hear honest criticism about how a trial was conducted or how a patient feels they were treated, but those insights can be invaluable in improving future patient experiences.
Examples of How Patient Centricity has been Improved in Clinical Trials
1. Allowing patients to be more involved in the decision-making process
Enhancing a patient-centric method in clinical trials through active patient involvement can improve communication between researchers and patients. Improved communication increases trust, which in turn reduces drop-out rates of clinical trials, particularly for long-term studies. It is shown that active participation and transparency of patients improves their level of trust towards researchers.
2. Providing more personalized care to patients
The success of clinical trials largely depends on patient participation and if something isn’t working for a patient, they may be more reluctant to engage with the study. If your study requires users to log into a website and message their providers when they have a side effect, you may lose information from people who would prefer to be able to call or send an email through their standard email provider. Giving your patients options can help keep them working with you.
3. Give patients more control over their own treatment plan and schedule
One of the ways to improve your patient-centric method in clinical trials is by offering personalized treatment. Customizing a treatment for a patient results in higher patient satisfaction, shorter waiting times and increases motivation.
In addition, evidence has shown that customized treatments help combat resistance against treatment for some diseases like cancer. However, offering customized treatments on a large scale can be challenging as treatments will vary according to individuals’ health status and progress through trial stages.
4. Increase transparency between patients and doctors to give patients a better understanding of their condition and treatment options
Another way to improve patient centricity in clinical trials is by involving patients in their care plan. Such an approach helps ensure that patients stay motivated and avoid treatment delays due to misunderstanding or lack of communication.
It can also increase satisfaction and lower drop-out rates due to improved understanding of a disease and its treatment options. However, it can be challenging for researchers to provide detailed information on all stages of a trial, particularly long-term ones, while still complying with medical regulations.
You may need to send regular communication to your patients via email or physical mail to keep them updated on what is going on in the trial. Having a document library online where they can look up common side effects or challenges may make them more comfortable with the study as well.
5. More focus has been placed on the patient’s experience during the trial, rather than just the data collected.
You may want to consider offering an integrated care plan to help increase patient centricity. This approach aims to provide a holistic, individualized experience for participants during all stages of a trial by coordinating information between different healthcare providers and researchers.
Technology and Patient Centricity
As the world progresses, technology gets smaller and more powerful. This affects every industry, including the medical and pharmaceutical industries. One important aspect of these industries is clinical trials.
When a new drug or treatment is developed, it must go through clinical trials to test its efficacy and safety. In recent years, there has been a shift towards a more patient-centric approach in clinical trials. This means that the focus is on the needs of the patient, rather than on the needs of the trial itself.
A patient-centric approach requires doctors and medical professionals to change their practices. Instead of using one size fits all methods of treatment, patient-centric approaches take into account a person’s individual needs.
One key way in which technology affects a patient-centric method is by providing more accurate and quicker diagnosis. By using advanced imaging technologies, such as MRIs or X-rays, doctors can now diagnose patients accurately and very quickly. This can help them choose more targeted treatments.
Allowing a patient to access their X-ray or MRI data along with the medical review of the test can help a patient feel more connected to the study. They can ask their doctor specific questions about the tests that they can see.
Patient-centricity in clinical trials requires doctors to be more considerate and empathetic when interacting with patients. Instead of just thinking about how a trial can be improved, they need to think about what would make patients feel comfortable.
They must remember that every patient has unique needs and expectations. This means that every person’s experience is different from any other patient’s experience, so each trial should not assume that all people have similar experiences.
Biobanking is also a powerful tool in improving patient-centricity. Biobanking means that medical professionals collect and store biological samples of patients, such as blood and urine.
These samples are used to test their genes and DNA for various illnesses, including diseases that they might not even know they have yet. This makes it easier for doctors to treat people as individuals rather than categorizing them based on pre-existing conditions or other factors.
While technology is a powerful tool, it must be combined with personal interaction. Technology can give doctors more insight into a patient’s condition than ever before, but that insight only matters if it helps them treat patients better. It also requires enough of an understanding from medical professionals to adapt to different circumstances.
Becoming more patient centric can help not only clinical trials, but patient care as a whole. By making your patients feel like they are a part of managing their illness, you can help them feel empowered and more confident when dealing with their illness.