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SCIO Health Analytics: Improving Compliance Starts with Understanding the Patient

SCIO Health Analytics: Improving Compliance Starts with Understanding the Patient

26 September 2017: Few things are more frustrating for a physician than explaining a treatment plan with a patient related to what he/she needs to do to improve their health while knowing adherence to the plan may not come to fruition.

It’s not that the patient wants to be unhealthy. No one wants that. Yet somehow it’s difficult for the patient to turn those words into action.

What’s missing in these encounters is the understanding on a human level of who this patient is and what motivates him/her. While it’s difficult to build a deep personal relationship with each individual in a 15-minute office visit, there is another solution: using data and analytics to build patient personas.

A persona is a representation of groups of people who share similar attributes and characteristics. They are used extensively in the consumer products industry to understand what appeals to customer types to help them market more effectively. The science behind personas can help improve compliance as well.

Take diabetic patients, for example. Physicians know the key to controlling blood sugar levels is eating the right things, getting more exercise and following their medication regimen. Yet saying “you need to change your diet, take your meds and get more exercise” often fails to yield the desired behaviors, leaving physicians frustrated – and at greater risk in value-based care arrangements.

Patient personas are built not just on clinical or claims data but also incorporate other data sets such as credit card, zip code, demographic, or psychographic data. As a result, they can provide greater insights into what challenges must be overcome to drive compliance. For example:

Zip code data that shows a high density of fast food restaurants in an area, along with few stores that sell organic foods, offer a clue as to the difficulty of changing diets.

Zip code data that shows patients live in high population density areas could indicate a strong possibility of a very small mailbox in an apartment building, making bulk mail order medications a poor choice for that patient.

Credit card data that shows a gym membership, participation in 5K races, or a subscription to outdoors-oriented magazines demonstrate a higher likelihood of following exercise advice.

Purchase histories that show a tendency to go with store brands or generic products over name brands tend to be an indicator that cost is factor, which should be taken into consideration when devising plans or prescribing medications.

Armed with this greater understanding, physicians (and staff) can refine their recommendations to make them more easily actionable for the patients, such as prescribing generics/alternatives or devising a healthier eating strategy that takes the realities of their circumstances into account.

The more healthcare becomes focused on long-term outcomes, the more important it will be to find just the right triggers to maximize patient compliance. Data-driven personas can help accelerate that process.

David Hom is Chief Evangelist at SCIO Health Analytics®, an organization dedicated to using healthcare analytics to improve clinical outcomes, operational performance and business results. He is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of consumer engagement through programs such as Value Based Benefits and Employee Wellness.

About SCIO Health Analytics

Based in West Hartford, Connecticut, SCIO Health Analytics is a leading health analytics solution and services company. It serves healthcare organizations across the continuum including over 20 provider groups and 30 health plans representing more than 90 million members, four of the top six PBMs, and clients in 30 countries for 8 of the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies. SCIO provides predictive analytic solutions and services that transform data into actionable insights, helping healthcare organizations create the understanding that drives change through care, network and reimbursement optimization as well as commercial effectiveness.

For enquiries visit: www.sciohealthanalytics.com