Around the 10th century, wine producers were trying to improve their profit margins by reducing their costs and tax burden. One of the common strategies was reducing the volume of the wine shipments by boiling their wine to reducing the water content. This shrunk the volume of the shipment and, consequently, reduced the transportation costs as well as the tax liability given the taxes were based on the volume of wine. This was considered a common practice in many areas until, presumably at the end of a long day, someone sampled the wine and noticed that this concentrated, or distilled, wine was quite good. Happily, Brandy was born!
Fast forward to 2020 and we can see a variety of ways in which the use of technology can expand and morph into a variety of innovations, some intended and some not, that are digitally transforming our private and public sectors in new and disruptive ways. Specifically, SAP’s Qualtrics Experience Management solutions are providing the ability for organizations to listen, understand and act on the experiences of your customers, employees, physicians and patients by integrating the experience or X data with the operational or O data resulting in an immediate impact on your top and bottom-line results.
For example, diabetes is the leading chronic disease across the globe and impacts hundreds of millions of individuals. Monitoring your diabetes and ensuring that your glucose levels are within a specified range is critical to a person living with diabetes health. To meet this need, many companies have developed continuous glucose monitoring devices to simplify, capture and track their glucose measurements. Organizations are now deploying solutions that allow them to listen to the patients, physicians and care circle participants regarding their experiences with the solution. Was the patient able to use the device and did it improve the monitoring of their glucose levels? Were they able to load the mobile app on their cell phone and was it easy to activate? Does the continuous glucose monitor improve the quality of the patient’s life? Is the patient able to connect with their physician so that he or she could have visibility into their glucose readings? Are you able to connect your parents, children or care circle with the app so they can see your health metrics? SAP’s Qualtrics experience management capabilities leverage the experience data that is combined with the SAP operational data that allows an organization to make operational changes to improve the patient experience.
Like diabetes, cardiovascular disease impacts millions of patients across the globe as well. Patients around world leverage a variety of medical devices including stents and pacemakers to improve blood flow, cardiac rhythm and/or overall vascular health. The ability of an organization to listen to key stakeholders will dramatically improve the ability to eliminate problems or inefficiencies that are directly impacting the device or therapy. For example, what was the cardiologist’s feedback on the performance of the device? Was the catheter easy to use and/or where there any design issues they would recommend that would improve the ergonomics of the device? Was the product knowledge of the medical technician who participated in the implant procedure helpful? Did the company representative work with the patient and the patient’s care circle to help them load the mobile app and connect the health information with the physician, patient and care circle? SAP can enable organizations to measure the experience of the customer, physician, or patient and align the experience data with the operational data to highlight the opportunities and areas of improvement.
Further, your employees are directly engaged with patients, physicians and customers but may or may not have an opportunity to provide relevant feedback on the process. Listening to the feedback from a sales rep for an orthopedic implant company who is responsible for ensuring that a provider has trauma products for individuals who were involved in violent car crashes that may be planned or, as is the case for many trauma related cases, unplanned. Did the provider have enough inventory to ensure the patient received the proper implant devices and components for the procedure? Was there a technical resource available to assist the physician in the implant procedure? Was the physician able to leverage the latest products and devices to ensure the best outcome? Did the sales rep need to leverage any “trunk stock” due to insufficient inventories of consigned or supplier managed material? All these experience data points can be combined with the operational data to evaluate how an organization can improve the responsiveness, speed and accuracy of the process.
Lastly, drug adherence is a multi-billion-dollar issue for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In the United States, medical non-adherence rates for patients are estimated as high as 66% of patients with prescriptions This not only results in lost revenue but reduced outcomes as patients don’t follow their recommended protocols. If organizations better understand why their patients did not fill or refill their prescriptions, they could develop remedies to resolve those issues for their patients. Did patients procrastinate or just simply forgot to refill their prescription in which case should we invest in more robust notification tools to provide electronic reminders. Can organizations leverage digital tools to create therapeutic communities to create a closer relationship with the patient that improves medical adherence? If patients mention that the drug was too expensive, organizations could work with the payers to develop pricing strategies that reduced the price at the unit level but increased total revenue due to the improved adherence. Combining the experience data with the operational data provides unique opportunities to improve the experience and the process that will result in positive outcomes for all members of the value chain.
Although Experience Management is just beginning, health sciences organizations are already seeing the tremendous potential of the solutions to listen, understand and act in order to improve customer, physician and patient experiences that, ultimately, improve patient experiences and outcomes.
Let me know your thoughts and comments on SAP Qualtrics Experience Management in Health Sciences.
 15 Frightening Facts on Medication Adherence, May 2018, https://www.pillsy.com/articles/medication-adherence-stats