The Key to Patient Satisfaction with Medical Devices? Early Engagement

October 26, 2017

Spinal solutions, joint and bone stabilization and repair, pacemakers, colostomy bags, stents: the list of advanced medical devices is seemingly endless and continues to grow.

Yet making the decision to have a procedure or surgery is never easy, even when the goal is to reduce pain, begin a journey toward recovery, or even save a life.

That’s why it’s so important for medical device companies and surgeons to work together to raise awareness of the value of certain procedures and medical devices to patients. Early education about the benefits of medical devices will lead to earlier patient engagement, which means a shorter time to activation, recovery, and even advocacy.

Encouraging a Patient to Act

Oftentimes, awareness that surgery is a solution is the easy part. However, researching alternatives, such as minimally-invasive procedures, is often not top-of-mind with patients. This lack of education can lead to procrastination — the patient takes a pamphlet home and tries not to think about it — sometimes for months or years, which can allow the condition to get worse.

Yet patients who act earlier often have better results.

Making Recovery Easier

After a procedure, the journey through recovery is often bewildering for patients. We know from first-hand experience. Through our trained patient engagement care managers, we have connected with thousands of patients who share their stories.

Most patients don’t prepare in advance for post-procedure recovery. Some are frustrated by the length of time it takes to get back to their normal lives. Some don’t believe that the therapies or lifestyle changes prescribed are truly necessary for them and wander from their prescribed treatment path.

All of these conversations enable our care managers to segment patients and personalize their care management, to assuage concerns, set realistic expectations, and empower the patient to take control of their recovery.

Control leads to patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes, again and again.

Creating Patient Advocates

Talking to a patient who can share their own story may be the most convincing early incentive to patient activation of all. Many — even most — medical device companies are missing a huge opportunity to “close the loop” on patient engagement, and enable satisfied patients to become ambassadors of the treatment to new potential patients.

Patient advocates are able to give a level of empathy and experience that no care manager team could ever provide, even with extensive training, which makes them a powerful addition to your care management strategy. And empathy is one of the three keys, along with trust and hope, to ensuring the best patient engagement experience possible.

Act Early for the Best Patient Outcomes

Medical device companies have a unique patient engagement challenge, much different from that of a pharmaceutical company or clinical trial. Patients often perceive pharmaceuticals and trials as easy and less risky solutions.

Surgery is perceived as a last resort, if it is an option at all. Leveraging experienced patient engagement experts and care managers will help your company develop and execute a strategy that will engage patients early, support them through their treatment journey, and encourage them to be advocates themselves.