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In the previous blog, we discussed the importance of working with internal and external stakeholders to create a successful patient support plan. However, no matter how detailed the plan, it is only successful if it results in the patient taking the prescribed medication properly and adhering to it. Accomplishing adherence often requires changing the person’s existing behavior.

The psychology of human behavior is far too complex to handle in a simple blog post, but based on our experience in developing patient support programs, we have come to recognize five successful ingredients for changing behavior:

  1. Deep insight into how patients think, feel and behave
  2. Behavioral change and health psychology expertise to diagnose the problems and design solutions
  3. A map of possible therapy failure points to aid proactivity
  4. A consistent approach from the insights, to design and delivery of the program
  5. The agility to respond to individual needs and change

The deep insight that drives much of this work comes from listening to patients, their caretakers, and their prescribers. Using these insights and resulting data, it is then possible to tailor a meaningful support plan. Segments and personas can also be derived from a tried-and-tested behavioral change model with further expertise from behavioral or health psychology experts.

Patient Support Blog Series: Step 3 to a successful patient support program

One size does not fit all, and to further complicate matters, the size can change continually throughout the program. Understanding this from the outset and building in feedback loops to effect change along the way will lead to better results. To this end, it is critical to make sure that your patient support team – your Clinical educators, and contact center support teams – are properly trained to address behavior change at every interaction.

These teams must understand not only the dimensions of non-adherence and common barriers to the medication, but have care plans for each persona type that address these challenges and provide them with messaging and discussion flows.

The non-personal support materials must also resonate with the patient. One must maintain consistency in the look, feel and messaging of patient materials, making sure to address the individual patient’s needs.  Every interaction throughout the cadence is critical.

And finally, successfully addressing patient behaviors to achieve desired results requires great agility. A successful, agile patient support program does the following:

  • concentrates on individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • delivers patient programs that work over excessive documentation
  • responds to insights rather than rigidly proceeding without adapting to data

Ashfield is such a partner that can offer the agility and expertise to help you change patient behavior.

Next up: How managing channels and data in isolation can impact your patient support plan.

Need more information?

Contact Nareda Mills at

Nareda Mills is Senior Vice President at Ashfield Clinical and works diligently in the support of client patients throughout North America.  A former nurse, she draws upon real life experience to assist clients in developing programs to better serve patients and their caregivers with feedback to their administering health care professionals.

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