The 2018 Gallup Poll reported, for the 17th consecutive year, nursing is viewed by the American public as the occupation with the highest degree of honesty and ethical standards. The biopharmaceutical industry has long valued nurses as an important resource for consumer questions, and to provide education and support.
The latest developments in consumer-friendly technology mean that nurses are accessible in ways that go far beyond the traditional phone call or email:
- Smartphones allow patients of all ages to see and communicate with a nurse easily and at the time they need their services.
- Text messages can link patients to information, gather data, and send reminders and educational snippets.
- Remote desktop sharing sessions allow nurses to educate consumers while directing them through a document or video.
- Internet-based video conferencing is possible on most personal-use computers, forging a personal connection that’s more difficult to achieve in a simple voice-to-voice call.
- An “intelligent visual interface” smartphone app can enhance the personal feel of the interaction by providing the nurse relevant consumer information before the conversation begins.
Within a healthcare communications center, all of this can be done in a way that is compliant with industry and government regulations.
At Diligent Health Solutions, we view these advancements in personal-use technology as a complement to our nurse-as-communicator philosophy and our approach to the services we provide our biopharma clients:
- Identifying the right nurses. Nurses who excel in healthcare communications have a passion for educating consumers, and a true interest in ensuring that no question (asked or implied) goes unanswered. Recruiting and interviewing techniques have evolved; and that, coupled with our deep experience in this area, allows us to readily and accurately identify nurses who are the very best fit for the role.
- Training never ends. All successful companies know that training is not a one-time event and have a commitment to “ongoing” or “periodic” training. At Diligent, we see training—learning —as a way of life, an everyday opportunity to satisfy our restless dissatisfaction for continuous improvement.
- The rise of concierge services. A discussion between a nurse and a consumer often prompts questions about other things, such as: “I can’t afford my copay; is there any help available? or “I get my medication from a specialty pharmacy and it’s two days late; what should I do?” Diligent’s nurse communicators understand the complexity of the consumer experience and provide concierge services that result in “one call resolution” in as many cases as possible. We have found that concierge services don’t need to be expensive, just well designed.
- Broadened reach. Specialty drugs with complex administration are best supported by nurses, who can answer specific questions and provide general education. Some biopharma companies provide this support with at-home nurse visits, but it’s expensive and self-limiting. Increasingly, these visits are conducted virtually within the framework of a 24/7 nurse-staffed healthcare communications center, resulting in more frequent visits, a broadened reach, and lower costs.
- Voice of the consumer. Biopharma companies spend a great deal of money, resources, and time to gain insights into the consumer experience, but sometimes the actionable items get lost in a sea of data. Partnering with a nurse-staffed healthcare communications center that knows how to analyze the data and present it in action-focused ways leads to changes that substantially improve the consumer experience and the company’s competitive advantage.
Today’s healthcare consumers—whether they be patients, potential patients, or caregivers—have ever-increasing access to highly-trained, compassionate, and technology-enabled nurses with just a click of a few buttons, or right from the palm of their hand.
Founded by Life Science industry veterans Mary Anne Greenberg and Ron Abel, Diligent Health Solutions provides biopharma companies with a broad range of solutions and services, including patient engagement programs, medical information, creation of health information content, medical device support, telephone-based pharmaceutical sales, and product recall support. You can reach Mary Anne and Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org or (267) 768 7191.