Sometimes improving patient outcomes isn’t just about new medicines or regimes.
By helping empower patients to make changes to how they manage their condition we can improve patient outcomes, but with most healthcare professional (HCP) consultations lasting only ten minutes, how much of an impact can they make?
Eczema is a hugely debilitating condition, having both a physical and psychological impact on patients, and management of the condition is varied across the UK, often being regarded as ‘sub-optimal’. HCPs have very limited training in this disease area, and due to limited time during consultations and the complexity of the condition, it can sometimes mean that individual needs of the patient can be under-managed.
We set out to produce a simple yet effective tool for HCPs to help optimise a consultation for their eczema patients. With a specialist panel of dermatology experts, we developed the TalkingEczema tool. The Tool is for use in a standard consultation to: enhance interactions; quickly identify areas for patients to improve management of their condition; and highlight key impact areas for individual patients. The result allows HCPs to quickly classify patients based on the impact of their eczema and their motivation to treat, which enables HCPs to tailor treatment plans to suit their patients’ priorities.
In the first 8-weeks since launch we had over 100 requests for the TalkingEczema tool through the dedicated microsite, from a variety of healthcare providers. HCP interaction through the sales team has driven many more requests and initial feedback has been extremely positive with HCPs feeling they are “doing the best for their patients by having a structure to work with”.
But what makes this initiative really meaningful is the impact it is having for patients. For instance, the story of a 9-year-old boy with chronic, poorly controlled eczema whose HCP used the Tool and identified the emotional impact of the condition on the patient and his family. Implementing simple changes to his treatment plan brought his eczema under control and significantly improved his quality of life.
“The great thing is that it allows a much richer consultation, without using any more time, from which the patient feels heard, understood, informed and better able to follow the treatment regime.”
Dr Tony Bewley, Consultant Dermatologist