Technology has radically shifted the paradigm of our communication. Traditional, face-to-face conversations have widely been replaced by digital technologies: an email, text, social media chat, or FaceTime conversation. While some of us mourn technology as an interruption, most of us want more simple, streamlined, and convenient ways to get our point across to others.
In addition to the personal benefits reaped by the digital age, professionals are also seeing opportunities. Digital communication allows brands to speak directly to current and potential customers in a “language” they can understand. For a specialty pharmacy, strategic digital communications within clinical programs can have a huge impact on the conversations you have with your patients — and ultimately, a positive influence on their health outcomes.
While there are many different techniques and digital channels to embrace, healthcare providers may benefit from a personalized, segmented email patient program.
Healthcare’s Biggest Challenge
One of the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare industry is being able to speak to patients in a way that truly resonates with them. We have to understand their conditions and clinical care plans, as well as how their behaviors and actions are critical to achieving their peak health. Every person is different, so naturally, a uniform template message simply won’t have the same effect on everyone.
The challenge of effective communication is multiplied for patients with chronic medical conditions. Statistics show that the average cancer patient can see more than 15 healthcare providers every year. With so much information in so many places, it’s easy to see how information can be mismanaged and patients can become overwhelmed.
How Email Can Create a Tailored and Impactful Patient Experience
An email patient program can have a range of benefits, like engaging patients on their own time and personalizing messages to their unique care plan and treatment stage. This way, conversations can be targeted and efficient, providing only information that patients need, when they need it.
For example, consider an oncology patient who has just begun treatment with a cutting-edge therapy that has recently been introduced to the market. The specialty pharmacy can help to educate the patient on their new treatment journey by sending informative emails, such as discussions of certain side effects and possible ways to mitigate or lessen them.
This can prepare patients for what’s to come, creating a better experience during their treatment and building a stronger and more trusting relationship with the pharmacy and its care providers.
As the patient moves through their treatment journey, the email program can move with it, providing information that’s pertinent to various treatment stages.
Pillars of a Strong Communication Plan
There is a virtually infinite amount of ways to build an effective digital communication plan. From a patient email program to a sophisticated mobile app, specialty pharmacies have a lot of options when it comes to finding their voice for patients. When building a plan, it’s important to focus on some key pillars of improving care outcomes within the scope of the pharmacy-patient relationship.
A good digital communications plan will address:
- Simple reminders and guidance for adhering to their care plan as much as possible, from taking medication properly to refilling prescriptions to attending follow-ups.
- Messaging and education about managing each patient’s specific medical condition, to complement one-on-one time with their physician and encourage better management between visits.
- Providing information and techniques to measure attitude, diet, exercise, and other general health and wellness factors that go into a holistic healthcare plan.
- Potential ways to monitor health on a long-term basis, such as blood pressure and sugar, weight, mood, and pain levels.
Communicating with patients isn’t negotiable for positive healthcare outcomes. Specialty pharmacy clinical programs depend on smooth, educational, and helpful communications to bring health to their patients. What’s your pharmacy’s digital communication strategy?
Don’t have one yet? Then you need a team that understands digital communications planning and execution, as well as the healthcare market, from the ground up.
Contact us today for your free 30-minute email marketing analysis on how a digital communications plan can help you reach your customers and patients – where they are.