The Power of Language: Real-World Patient Insights

Language is an amazing human tool. We can use it to transmit complex concepts to each other in relatively simple ways. The words and phrases we use can influence the listener and ourselves to think, feel, and act differently. We explore the power that real-world patient language and their stories have on the understanding of a disease and how this will truly help shape patient centricity in the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical sectors.

Language: The power of storytelling

There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love after you’ve heard their story

Mr Rogers, American TV host

How can storytelling be applied to the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors?

Storytelling has been around far longer than medicine. Before the written (and arguably, spoken) word, we have been using stories as a medium to share ideas, concepts, and knowledge – and it is a medium that is memorable. Research by Stanford Professor Chip Heath discovered that in short presentations, stories were likely to be remembered 63% of the time whilst data could only be recalled 5% of the time.

Additionally, Storytelling as a medium has withstood the test of time. A good story compels people to change, and it has as much a place in our industry as it does on stage or screen. In business and specifically the pharma/healthcare industry, using storytelling can compel people to change.

Good stories compel people to change the way we feel, the way we think, the way we act and the way we behave.
Source: – The power of storytelling

The right stories can inspire teams to rethink how they approach a subject. By truly understanding a patient’s ‘story’, it is easier to gain an understanding of their needs well beyond the treatment.

Language: The power of empathy

In an industry that is heavily focused on the molecule or the disease, it is very easy to get lost in discussions around the treatment area. In our recent webinar ‘Can Walking in a Patient’s Shoes Unlock Patient-centric Care’ patient and advocate Mark Duman Describes his perceptions that through using medical terminology in discussions around his condition, he felt he was viewed as a disease first.

Empathetic language is rooted in humanity whereas many medical journals are rooted in science and data. The use of objective and scientific writing is not a bad thing – there is most definitely a place for this form of writing in a field where one mistake could have enormous ramifications. Adopting the use of empathy however can open discussion and lead to solutions that were previously hidden.

During our interviews with clinicians and pharmacists for our Q2 report: Why all Roads Lead to Patient Centricity we identified that clients who have taken A Life in a Day and led patient conversations with empathetic questions such as ‘How is this disease impacting your day?’, the patient is more willing to elaborate and provide answers offering a holistic overview for their treatment.

Adopting real-world patient insights through experiential learning

The concept of patient insights is nothing new. Patient representatives and advocates have been used in the industry for some time as a means to understand the patient journey in an attempt to be more patient centric. They may also incorporate the concept of storytelling in their approach to creating a memorable experience.

A Life in a Day goes one step further by creating a holistic immersive experience. The ‘story’ of your chronic illness is told through a series of first-hand experiences combining role-play, challenges, and a kit of interactive items. By experiencing the story first-hand, we are arming departments to be the storytellers themselves, adopting these experiences in their own day-to-day conversations.

It has been designed to elicit empathy from participants and its experiences are developed hand-in-hand with patients and healthcare professionals for accuracy. They are designed to be completed during a typical working day to reflect the reality of living with a chronic health condition and the choices people make during the day-long simulation determines what happens next, just like in real life.

The experience has been carefully crafted and rigorously tested to create true immersion that leaves long-lasting impressions that participants can adopt and use to unlock patient centric activity in their own roles.

Get in touch if you would like to explore how A Life in a Day can unlock patient-centricity in your company.

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