White Paper: Helping People Heal

By Mikkel Brok-Kristensen and Charlotte Vangsgaard

As healthcare organizations work to heal patients, they also hope patients are the cure for solving what ails the industry. Providers, payers and pharmaceuticals companies all hope building stronger relationships with patients will lead to better health outcomes and ultimately reduce the cost of care. The industry is investing heavily in digital initiatives designed to engage patients, connect them with physicians and help them follow doctors’ orders.

But how well will these investments pay off? We know what a good health outcome is from the perspectives of payers, clinicians and hospitals. Yet in all the focus on patient centricity, it’s not clear how patients define a good outcome. The industry can’t truly engage patients without understanding their view of the healthcare system and their perceptions of how they heal. Without that understanding, digital patient engagement investments are likely to yield disappointing results.

So ReD worked with Cognizant to study the phenomenon of healing to truly understand what happens when people face a health issue or risk and need to manage or overcome it. We took an outside-in perspective, delving deeply into the lives of Americans across the country to gain insight into how a person goes through a successful healing process. When the system doesn’t help people heal, what do they do instead?

Our researchers immersed themselves in people’s everyday lives, visiting people in their homes, shadowing them at the physician’s office, taking part in their daily routines. We intentionally chose to look across diseases to find patterns in healing strategies and recruited for the most prevalent and chronic conditions. Further, we gained insight not just into the lives of our initial patients but into their “respondent ecologies”: the friends, families, colleagues and physicians that surround them. Finally, we validated the qualitative research with a large quantitative study.

The Helping People Heal white paper provides a deeply researched perspective on how digital is positioned to fulfill key unmet patient needs and enable warm care with individualized, adaptive, empathetic and scalable support.

Read the full white paper here

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