Patients need clear and reassuring communications

Recently, the BBC posted an article on the negative response many people have towards medicine information leaflets or pamphlets.

In many cases, people feel like they’re experiencing a deluge of frightening information, particularly the long lists of side effects and only vague estimates of the likelihood of each effect. In contrast, these pamphlets often don’t have as much information about the benefits that patients can enjoy if they take a given medication and adhere to it on the schedule set by their doctors.

Furthermore, the information may come across in a confusing way, especially when it’s written in jargon.

Taking the patient’s point-of-view

It’s important for patients to understand the side effects of each medication and become aware of the risks. Providing them with this information demonstrates transparency and truthfulness.

However, you need to make sure that patients don’t get turned away completely from what might be a medication they need to save their life or significantly improve their health.

Consider their point-of-view:

  • When they’re about to start a new medication regimen, they’re already experiencing stress from dealing with whatever medical condition necessitated the treatment. Remain mindful of their emotional state as you convey information, both positive and negative, about the medication.
  • Although patients often do seek out additional information about their condition, they can’t be expected to decipher jargon, particularly in a long list of ingredients or side effects. Make sure they also have a source of information that explains the terminology and communicates in a more straightforward way to anyone without a specialized medical background.
  • Discuss the benefits and side effects in a more balanced way. After reading a pamphlet (or similar content through a different medium, such as a website landing page), patients should come away with a clear sense of what they’re getting from the medication and what they should watch out for – not with excessive anxiety, but with serious, reasonable caution.

Too often, the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies ignore the way patients perceive communications. Communicating in a clear and reassuring way will help strengthen patient trust, empower patients with information, and increase the chances of medication adherence.

To learn more ways to create a more customer-centric communications strategy, attend the 11th Digital Pharma East conference, taking place October 3-6, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. Join over 800 life science leaders who are improving customer centricity and patient outcomes through digital health and transformative initiatives. To learn more about this event please download the brochure or visit the website. Click here to register and be sure to mention Priority Code C856BLOG.

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