Have you ever experienced remarkable customer service – someone really going above and beyond to provide a remarkable experience to you or your family? During the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve seen heroic efforts by frontline healthcare professionals to care for patients in need, and round-the-clock working by scientists and regulators to create, test and approve vaccines and treatments.
Our mission at mdgroup is delivering remarkable patient experiences with digitally enabled, personalised services to achieve clinical trial excellence. We want to help Pharma and CRO’s go above and beyond to provide consistently remarkable experiences to clinical trial participants.
Our Chief Operating Officer, Christopher Kennedy, recently presented at Pharma and Patient USA, a virtual event bringing together leaders in patient-centricity. Christopher shared our perspective on what it takes to deliver remarkable patient experiences to clinical trial participants.
Watch the presentation:
Read the transcript:
Hi, I’m Christopher Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer with the mdgroup. Special thanks to Reuters Events, and the 2020, Pharma and Patient virtual series for providing a platform for us to share best practices, go jump right into the presentation. And really focus in on how mdgroup is delivering remarkable patient experiences to those participating in clinical trials. mdgroup has been putting patients first for over two decades. And specifically, our efforts have led us to be at the tip of the spear when it comes to decentralized clinical research. Understanding the complexities of the patient journey is paramount to advancing medicine, exploring digital technology solutions that enable better outcomes has never been more important. There’s a lot of digital technology noise in the marketplace. And it’s critical that we understand which solutions can actually help patients on their particular journeys. The future of decentralized clinical research has a big question mark behind it when we look at what tomorrow might bring in 2020. The COVID-19 era has highly illustrated that for us, delivering remarkable experiences, if we all pause here for a moment, and think about a moment that we might have had where we receive remarkable service when a person went above and beyond for us or our families. Or maybe we haven’t experienced your market more. As a matter of fact, maybe we’re seeking out remarkable. And we’re hoping that there are organizations that exist that might go above and beyond for us so that we can feel that we’ve got a support network unlike ever before. And that’s really the core at the end of the mdgroup mission. We’ve learned that designing remarkable for all of our programs improves patient recruitment, improves patient engagement, patient retention, and improves patient outcomes, the four key metrics, everything we’re doing in the clinical research space. The patient journey has many different complexities. It’s on us as an organization, and healthcare providers and those participating in clinical research to really understand the nuances in those journeys. And it all starts on getting to know patients on a one on one level, we pride ourselves on leading on this front. We’re using different technologies today that have been used in other industries, to really say how can we make things better? How can we improve chances that a staff member from mdgroup connects quicker and more effectively in building an authentic relationship with a patient. We’re doing this with personality assessments, chemistry reports that allow us to have our staff member, take a chemistry report and compare that to a patient during the onboarding process, we get to understand patient communication preferences, personality types, little nuances, that could be the differentiating factor to get a patient across the clinical finish line. journey mapping, this isn’t a new concept. But taking the time to do on an individual basis takes a lot of time, effort. And really to deploy the amount of resources necessary to do something like this, you have to build a team. And we’ve done that in mdgroup, people whose mission is solely based around understanding each patient’s individualistic basis. Now, sure, we can make some generalizations like this map here that there are winds and curves on a patient journey. But it’s creating that safety net and identifying the outliers that might happen to help us identify where we can deploy resources for potential service recovery. Again, our goal is very simple. We get patients on board in clinical trials, and we get them across the finish line. The Keys to Success providing easy access to care. That’s one thing that stands out at the mdgroup, we’re available 24-7, we always have our light on for patients and patients know who we are – those relationships matter. We’ve formally trained our staff members around different initiatives in the patient experience curriculum, and specifically around empathy, the language of empathy, really connecting with other people and putting them first, that’s almost an art form. And it’s something that in mdgroup, you’ll notice as a difference of us as being providers and partners in your clinical trial. Building authentic relationships. This goes without mentioning, but it is important to mention, relationships can take many different shapes. Authenticity is truly the differentiator at the mdgroup because we learn how to help people in need. And that sounds simple, but it’s much harder to execute. Being able to really recognize the other areas in organizations that can chime in and help build these relationships is critical. Sure, a patient might be just a part of a clinical trial, but their lives are much more than that. And the faster we can deploy resources to help them on their journey, the faster we build respect and trust and make that authentic relationship last. And finally listening and learning. Arguably, learning is the most important element here. Sure we all know the patient feedback matters, feedback from any customer matters. But are you learning from it? Our organization is nimble enough to take that feedback and make changes in real time. Huge key to our success and one that I like to keep on the dashboard here for you as well. Exploring digital technology, the better enables patient outcomes. Now, again, the context of this isn’t groundbreaking, but really focusing in on how we select out that technology is important. There’s the people services side and the digital services side that really intersect with the patient. Oftentimes, we find that patients don’t want some of the digital solutions that we think might be attractive, you know, there’s multiple different spams now that cloud our environment, you know, whether it’s a text message or an email, those don’t go well with a patient, that is against having a cell phone on them, 24-7, so we find better ways, better ways to use our people in ways that can then augment some of the digital needs. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t great digital platforms, being able to find ways to really meet patients, where they are on the digital spectrum, is just as important as it is on the people spectrum. So this slide really identifies our focus as a company and helps us as we empower patients around remarkable experiences when building out in-house technologies that do take patient experience to the next level. We’ve done this by keeping in mind that there are four key stakeholders and all that we’re doing, delivering performance metrics, and data looks different from a patient perspective than it does to provide a perspective, pharma’s perspective, or our clinical research organization, colleagues as well. And so looking at data in a new way, but more importantly, focusing in on how do we make data so it’s readily available and usable, not just a data dump, but really looking at analytics to say, how does this help what our stakeholders are chasing down for their objectives? And this, I think, is really where competition comes into play when you’re talking about employing digital technologies in this new space. Is what we’re adding into the care continuum actually helping us reach our goals? Or is it suddenly building a barrier in which it’s a nice, shiny new object that’s sitting on the sidelines? It’s a question we need to ponder the keys to success for making sure technology is a tool, a lot of barriers if a patient isn’t going to use it. Or if it doesn’t make the clinical trial help reach its endpoint, then why are we doing it? Asking those hard questions earlier in the spectrum really matters, empowering patient feedback, this has to be more than a commitment. It has to be facilitated by investment. And we’ve done that on multiple fronts. And technology today is making it easier than ever, interoperability systems must work together. Otherwise, they cause bottlenecks within the different protocols. And the clinical outputs are impacted. performance metrics, making sure that everything we do is measurable. And then we can see, are we doing what we say we’re going to do? And are we doing it better than the rest? Ultimately, the ultimate performance metric, is that clinical endpoint success? Are we crossing the finish line with our patients in hand? The future of decentralized clinical research, as I mentioned earlier, has a good question. There’s a new normal, and we’re not sure how that’s going to play out in the near future. But what we do know is it’s challenged us to look at the entire ecosystem in a new way, a way that we think can help this flexible patient services model expand itself into new areas, very optimistic about the future, helping to reach patients where they’re at, and understanding their changes need over time is way overdue in the marketplace. And we’re excited to be able to offer services that allow this to occur from a seamless perspective. An example of this would be not understanding what you’re getting into necessarily with each clinical trial. On this particular remarkable experience. We had a patient, it was a Syrian refugee family, actually, who needed to be moved from one country to another. And it wasn’t clearly stated in our protocol parameters. This is something we would be doing. But we were able to nimbly pivot and put that patient first, continuing that patient experience seamlessly into a complex environment. This is how remarkable is earned. It’s going above and beyond and taking advantage of a global footprint and our perspective, to maximize resources to help patients get where they’re headed, not where we’re headed. The key is to success, a patient-first mindset, it needs to start at the top with executive leadership and make its way all the way down to the front lines. being adaptable and agile, we must be able to adapt to what the marketplace is giving us and to learn from our patients in real-time. And if you’re learning in real-time, you’re going to have to be agile, you’re going to have to move quickly. And you’re really going to have to ask questions that challenge organizations from a structural standpoint, learning from other industries. We’ve done a phenomenal job of this in mdgroup going outside of our industry to say what can we incorporate into our program that will revolutionize potentially how we look at the patient experience and what can we do to share that with our patients. In our industry, including patients when building your solution, this has to be at the forefront of all of the innovations that we’re doing. If you have an idea, and you’re whiteboarding it out in the boardroom, and you haven’t brought patients into building that solution and getting their feedback, you could be wasting a lot of time. We’ve learned earlier in the process, listening to patients, allowing them to be part of the solution is invaluable. Our global footprint allows us to be in a position to expand our way, a remarkable way to all partners throughout the globe, and we invite you to connect with us to see where we might be able to partner together. Thanks for taking time to stop in our conference today.