Improving health literacy and making clinical trial information easier to access and understand are just two of the programs the Astellas’ Patient Experience Organization has run in its first year.
The group, which marked its first birthday in November 2017, has been working with teams across Astellas to ensure that the voice of the patient is incorporated across all facets of the company. The result is a string of patient-focused initiatives aimed at improving patient outcomes through increased engagement.
“Being patient-focused requires that we engage with empathy to discover what matters most to patients. Truly listening, with a deep desire to understand, provides us an opportunity to bring even more patient focus to our innovation,” said Doug Noland, Executive Director of Patient Experience at Astellas.
A rewarding first year
One of the biggest barriers to patient engagement is health literacy, which affects how well patients understand the healthcare options they have open to them and, often, how well they follow a treatment plan.
Astellas is committed to addressing this problem and recently launched the company’s health literacy guidelines. Starting with patient-facing materials, these guidelines are now being applied in other areas, including consumer Important Safety Information (ISI) documents, updating internal development processes to incorporate patient review of draft materials, and reviewing informed consent materials for clinical trials.
Another area that Astellas wanted to further explore was making it easier for patients and caregivers to access and understand clinical trial information. The Patient Experience, Clinical Development and Stakeholder Engagement teams have teamed up to address that and the result is www.AstellasTrials.com, a website with patient-friendly information on company-sponsored AML clinical trials. The website was developed with input from advocacy groups to ensure it fully met the needs of patients. The team is currently working to expand this effort to other diseases states and clinical trials as well.
What’s next for the Patient Experience team?
In its first year, the Patient Experience team has been embedding a culture that is even more patient-focused and closing information gaps within Astellas. While great strides have been made, more can still be done to make sure everything the company does meets the needs of patients.
The team is also beginning efforts to collaborate with external healthcare stakeholders to explore how to address non-treatment related gaps in patient care together.
“We understand healthcare can be complicated and overwhelming for patients. Only by working together can we truly deliver the highest quality experiences and outcomes for patients,” said Doug Noland.
Watch Doug Noland talk about what the Patient Experience Organization achieved in its first year.