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Digital innovation in patient support

By AmerisourceBergen

Healthcare provider perspectives on how to optimize patient support programs for chronic disease.

The potential: Pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare providers alike want to improve patients' lives via better health outcomes. Patient support programs (PSPs) have the potential to deliver on this goal by improving timely access and adherence to therapy.

The challenges: The best PSPs simplify enrolment and product access while making it easy for healthcare providers (HCPs) to access data about the patient’s journey. Yet there's been little innovation in the PSP space to date.
Technology has remained largely unchanged over the years, creating a layer of challenges for pharmaceutical manufacturers and HCPs alike:
  • How do you optimize PSPs?
  • Where can digital innovation improve the HCP experience?
  • What digital innovations can be introduced to address patient challenges?

The survey

Innomar Strategies surveyed our Innovation Committee, a group of key opinion leaders across Canada in the immunology space. The group consisted of healthcare providers in specialties such as rheumatology, dermatology, and gastroenterology.

The results reveal that PSPs are ripe for digital innovations that improve the HCP experience and patient outcomes throughout the patient journey for complex, chronic diseases.

Optimizing PSPs

We asked our Innovation Committee to identify their top challenges with PSPs and opportunities for improvement.


  • Difficult to navigate the many PSPs 
  • Too much paperwork
  • Not integrated into existing workflow
  • Time to therapy
  • Understanding patient status and accessing patient data in PSP
  • Time to reimbursement decisions
  • Understanding reimbursement criteria


  • Standardize and simplify PSPs with best practices
  • Streamline enrolment and other PSP communications with technology
  • Decrease the administrative burden on HCPs
  • Share PSP data into existing workflow (e.g. HCP EMR)

How pharma can evolve: Look for a PSP partner that offers digital solutions that provide the right tools and connectivity for real-time data sharing amongst HCPs, patients/caregivers, payors, and the PSP. This will reduce manual data entry challenges and streamline processes, enabling faster access to therapy for patients and simple, user-friendly workflows for HCPs.

The HCP experience

Can digital innovation impact the provider experience when it comes to PSPs? Here's what our survey respondents had to say about how digital can help:

  • Accelerate patient access to therapy
  • Keep the PSP process in the HCP workflow (e.g. the EMR)
  • Eliminate paperwork, decrease the administrative burden and reduce unnecessary communication points by using existing data in EMR and PSP
  • Automate remote assessments/follow-ups on behalf of HCP
  • Sharing patient data (enrolment status, clinical indicators, labs, etc.)
  • Improve HCP to PSP communication (preferences, document sharing, patient status)
  • Share impacts of services on patient outcomes
  • Standardize universal PSP processes
  • Connect healthcare data to centralize outcome monitoring

How the process can evolve: EMR and web connectivity to enable real-time and dynamic communication between HCPs and PSPs is an option in responsive PSP models. Connectivity through the EMR or web provides physicians with a standardized and integrated way of working with a PSP (e.g. enrolling patients, obtaining prior authorizations, sharing patient data) by reducing the number of touchpoints to clarify and centralize information so that patients can access their therapy support more efficiently and continue on a path to improved health outcomes. 

The patient experience
What should a digital engagement platform offer patients? These are the biggest areas for improvement from our Innovation Committee members’ perspectives:

  • Improve access to healthcare providers and services
  • Enable access to patients' own data and provide digital support tools to help them better self-manage their care
  • Provide patient education on disease, therapy, and PSP services
  • Support navigating PSPs and continuity amongst PSP staff while simplifying processes
  • Provide digital communication options to meet patient expectations

How pharma can evolve: Consider integrating digital solutions into your PSP program — virtual care and holistic mobile apps — to improve patient experience and adherence. Digital engagement and education are just one more feature that leading PSP partners will include as standard offerings to ensure patients feel empowered to manage their own healthcare.

Continue the conversation

For HCPs, the traditional model of activating various PSP services can be burdensome and inefficient. Needs-based digital solutions improve the effectiveness and experience in working with PSPs. For patients and their caregivers, living with a high burden of care often means additional support is required to achieve healthier outcomes. 

AvidityHealth's digital solutions present a conduit to provide this essential support to connect HCPs, patients, and caregivers. Learn more about how this suite of digital solutions from Innomar can help you meet providers and patients now and for the future of digital healthcare.