Transforming to Improve Patient Outcomes and Provide Better Value

Recently we shared a blog post highlighting the top five pressures life sciences companies will face in 2019, forcing them to transform in order to remain competitive. While transformation sounds overwhelming – and a little buzzword-y – organizations will soon need to implement key organizational changes to successfully address undeniable business challenges.

Change for the sake of change can waste resources and miss the target; however, strategic change that truly addresses organizational pain points requires careful planning and execution. This type of change requires an empathetic approach that focuses on the concerns of high-priority stakeholders. The experience-led approach we use at Navigate benefits not only the stakeholders, but the companies involved as well.

In a series of blog posts, we plan to discuss each of the five identified pressures and the types of transformations that life sciences organizations should consider to address and meet the needs of their stakeholders.

Let’s begin with the charge to improve patient outcomes and provide better value. The following are a few examples of companies who are successfully leading the way.

Transforming Clinical Trials

Geisinger Health and five other local health systems in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have formed a consortium to increase patient participation in drug trials, a space typically occupied by large hospitals with big names. This collaboration is mutually beneficial for both the providers and the drug companies; however, it also directly benefits the patients – the real goal.

With a larger sample size of patients, from more hospitals, the pharmaceutical companies’ clinical trials are more likely to be approved, which gets the drugs to market faster. The hospitals benefit as they are able to attract new patients who want to participate in various trials. Patients benefit due to increased access to trials and newly released medications.

Transforming Patient Adherence

Roughly three out of four Americans do not take their medication as prescribed. This results in the deaths of 125,000 Americans annually and costs the healthcare system nearly $300 billion a year in additional doctor visits, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations.

To address this glaring issue, pharmaceutical companies like Merck are partnering with hospital systems to pilot non-branded patient adherence programs aimed at increasing the number of prescriptions filled. This will lead to boosted sales for the pharmaceutical companies but will also benefit hospitals who experience reduced readmission rates. Most importantly, it will lead to improved patient health.

Transforming Patient Safety

Joe Kiani, Chairman and CEO of Masimo and an advocate for patient safety, founded the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. The foundation has set a goal to have zero patient deaths from preventable causes in a hospital setting by 2020. To achieve this, Kiani is bringing together medical device companies, many of whom are competitors, to increase data sharing. The hope is that sharing data could lead to improved patient outcomes by helping clinicians make decisions based on comprehensive patient information. Kiani’s Open Data Pledge now has nearly 100 medical device companies committed to the cause. With the data actively being collected, the next step is to determine how to leverage it for everyday use. While still in the early stages, this initiative will enable practitioners to harness artificial intelligence to spur data-driven decision making.

Transforming Value to Patients

AstraZeneca and UPMC Health Plan are pioneering a value-based contract, which specifically covers plan members taking Brilinta, a medication used to lower a patient’s chances of having a follow-on heart attack. The contract directly saves health plan users money by reducing out-of-pocket costs for brand-name medication, offering it at a generic price. This will alleviate the financial burden associated with the medication, likely leading to increased adherence and improved health outcomes for patients. The outcomes will then directly impact the costs covered by AstraZeneca and UPMC. The pharmaceutical company will receive reimbursement for its medication based on the cardiovascular outcomes of the patients being treated, which means the medication needs to prove that it’s effective. This unique cost-sharing contract could transform the payment model for medications based on the best interests of patients.

The above are examples of how companies in the life sciences industry are making changes, largely related to cross-functional collaboration, to improve patient outcomes and provide better value. Leading with empathy requires a broad perspective, but the results are profound – and not just for patients. These initiatives lead to improved operational efficiencies, streamlined processes, lower costs, and much more. Many of these examples are pilot programs that are being tested on smaller scales with particular patient populations. Once proved effective, the scope of these initiatives will likely increase. If your company is targeting a similar transformation in 2019, Navigate can help by providing robust program and change management support to educate stakeholders and ensure adoption as these new ways of thinking begin to scale. Please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or 484-383-0606 to discuss how to lead with empathy to maximize your results.

Tony Ruggieri, Senior Consultant







Change Management Done Right
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