Blog

Why we need to listen to the patient voice

Posted
COVID-19

The future of clinical research relies on our ability to listen and respond – this is the sweet spot where innovation happens. It’s also a crucial part of creating remarkable patient experiences. 

Listening to the patient voice is more important than ever. As the decentralisation of clinical trials becomes the norm, more patients are actively involved in the trial design process

This is exciting news for our patient services team, as they continue to find new and innovative ways to provide remarkable experiences, on-site and in patient’s homes. 

In this interview, Sandra Webb, our Director of Home Health shares the impact the pandemic has had on her team and their work, and why she’s so passionate about the importance of listening to the voice of the patient. 

Watch the video:

Read the transcript:

Hello, my name is Sandra Webb and I am Director of Home Health. I look after all of the world outside of North America and Latin America, and essentially, I support arranging for our Home Health nurses to be out in the field to support patients in their own environment on their clinical trial journey.

My greatest passion and in this role is I’m the person that has to listen to the patient, what that patient needs, not just the patient, their family, their caregivers, and as their advocate, and as the voice of the patient, I can help develop our service to make sure that we’re delivering exactly what our patients needs. 

The impact of COVID on our team has kept us incredibly busy. We have had to support lots of our clients to ensure that their clinical trials are delivered in this pandemic. 

A lot of patients are unable to come to the hospital for various reasons, whether it be hospital may not be open to patients, they may not have any staff available to see the patients, or simply both patients are too ill to come into the hospital, and if they did contract COVID, it could be devastating for them. So we’re incredibly busy supporting the sites to make sure that the patients can be seen in their home environment.

So we have to be very innovative, we have to be agile, and again, I’m listening to our patients and their needs and their family’s needs. So the example I can provide to you is we had a patient who had to have a nurse come into his home and take some, have some procedures done within his home environment. 

His family were shielding due to their own illnesses and that patient did not want to risk a nurse coming into the home and exposing any risk to his family. So we went back to our travel team and what we did was we arranged for a hotel, and the travel, so that patient could travel from his home, go into a hotel into a safe environment, the nurse was then in the hotel, she could do all the procedures for that patient, and then we would, then we arranged his travel back home to his environment. So he was secure and safe and the fact that he hadn’t exposed any of his family to any risks from COVID and he was delighted that he could carry on, you know, to maintain himself within the clinical trial.

Every patient deserves a remarkable experience, and I think it goes back to us listening to our patients and listening to what they need, what their families need. In order for them to maintain their daily living of their lives, as well as being able to fulfil their requirements for clinical drug trial, and that can mean many different things to many different patients that are on trials. It may be, it’s a patient who has a full-time job, and maybe his employer’s not wanting to support, you know, his time out to go into the clinical trial. 

Our team, our nurses can go in and see that patient when it suits, in their lunch hour, in the morning, in the evening. So in those instances, maybe when there’s a child involved, and their, you know, their disease really impacts on getting that child up, dressed, breakfast, you know, where it may be half an hour for normal family, it can take hours to have a child ready to go out and then the child may not be comfortable out travelling. 

So us enabling the nurse to go into the home, it keeps that family secure in their own environment. They’re not putting anybody at any risk, they’re not worrying about getting to an appointment on time, not worrying about putting themselves on a train and going through all the trauma. 

They can be completely relaxed in their home, have their treatment done with the nurse and also where we can, we’ll make sure the same nurse will go back to that family or to that patient, so they start to build up that rapport with that patient and really understand what it is that patient needs to allow them to continue on their clinical trial journey.