#Innovate4Outcomes: How to Improve Patient Outcomes

Avatar for Adam Sokol

As a Vice President of sales at OptimizeRx, I have taken a passionate interest in understanding how to aid both our Life Sciences and clinical partners in improving successful patient outcomes.  

Providers report Patient Support programs, if adopted by patients, can play an important role in furthering positive patient outcomes. At our recent event, #Innovate4Outcomes, in partnership with FiercePharma, we investigated what can be done to better empower patients to utilize available support programs. 

The wide variety of programs currently available cover everything from colonoscopy preparation (i.e. how to correctly administer the at-home mixture and what to expect) to emotional and medication support throughout the oncology process for cancer patients. So how can we increase the adoption of these programs for the patients they are intended to support? 

In order to find viable solutions, my team first looked at what drives the problem of limited adoption. Here’s where we landed: 

  • Not Enough Time: Clinicians are already short on time with their patients. That isn’t going to change. When a clinician has twenty minutes to collect vitals, review medical history, listen to the patient’s description of the issue at hand, give a diagnostic exam to assess said issue, diagnose or track progress or decline, and prescribe or adjust a treatment plan, there is little time to discuss a support program in addition.

  • Health Literacy: Doctors are already limited on time. See my point above. Yet we are still leaving it up to the doctor to educate patients on available support programs. There are often no support coordinators available to help patients enroll in programs. Not to mention, how many times does a patient walk out of a doctor’s office with a diagnosis and a limited understanding of what said diagnosis means?

  • Way too much information happening: The gap between appointments should be seen as an opportunity to collect information on a patient’s symptoms and what is happening that could be critical to a patient’s ongoing treatment. However, gathering this information comes with additional challenges, if a caretaker is involved and is unable to collect all of the information, or the patient and/or caretaker have a low health literacy rate, gathering the critical information may be difficult. Rather than using the gap between appointments as an opportunity to collect information, often it becomes a missed opportunity where a lot of information is lost.

"Being able to discuss this issue with such a wide-reaching group of healthcare professionals was an eye-opening endeavor. As the medical landscape continues to change at rapid pace, especially in light of COVID-19, it is critical that we continue to come together from all sides of the spectrum and collaborate on troubleshooting these issues for improved patient outcomes."

Given these three main challenges, my team brainstormed a two-part solution to the program utilization problem by building a bridge to close the gaps.  

  • HIPPA-Compliant Data Exchange: The bridge between pharma, providers, payers, patients, and social media. It seems like a lot — but if we could have our pie in the sky, this would be the ideal outcome for patients. A secure data exchange where information would help create a “full picture” that would allow for comprehensive treatment plans at a lower cost with the patient’s complete medical history and best interest in mind.  

      • Ultimately, people want to leave every medical encounter feeling informed and confident about any diagnosis, medication, or instruction provided by their doctor. Health literacy can allow people to take charge of their health and wellness, leading to a better quality of life.  

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  • Push + Pull — How to Increase Utilization: Push on Life Sciences. Pull with Patients. 
    • If we are not properly educating HCPs, we will never see full adoption and utilization of the various patient support programs currently in place. Understanding the value of these programs must start with clinicians, in order to help educate their patients. 

    • Patients want to engage in their health and understand the options available to them. Engage with patients on the value of the program, and how it benefits their outcome. Make the benefits of the program known, support open dialog and make onboarding easy for the patient. 

Being able to discuss this issue with such a wide-reaching group of healthcare professionals was an eye-opening endeavor. As the medical landscape continues to change at rapid pace, especially in light of COVID-19, it is critical that we continue to come together from all sides of the spectrum and collaborate on troubleshooting these issues for improved patient outcomes. We believe that the industry is capable. And I know I speak for OptimizeRxFiercePharma, and all of our #Innovate4Outcomes partners when I say that we pledge to not stop until the work is done, and patients are fully informed — armed with the information they need to get the outcomes they deserve. 


Avatar for Adam Sokol

Vice President
OptimizeRx Corporation