“Deeper insight than just knowledge”: a conversation with Janssen’s Urs Voegeli

Patient centricity is still evolving. Earlier this year, our report exploring the implementation of patient-centered work practices identified that, whilst it is on the radar of all industry leaders, their companies are still adjusting their approach towards its delivery.

When we develop programmes with clients, we typically work at a global level creating experiences that can be rolled out at scale in multiple languages in multiple territories.  often when the markets or countries take up the opportunity they target the program for specific e.g, brand teams, sales teams, medical teams.

Earlier this year however, something different happened, Urs Voegeli, Managing Director approached us to ask whether we could develop a programme specifically with his country with the goal and intention to deliver it cross functionally throughout his team in Switzerland. His goal was to break down the departmental silos and deliver patient centric results that benefit organisation-wide employees.

For all teams, the understanding of true patient needs, and how much they would benefit is so crucial.

On Thursday 6 October our webinar explored the findings and outcomes. Watch it on demand through the link below (leads to external site):

The Common Denominator

The first question we posed to Urs was ‘why did you choose to make this investment for your country and were you concerned that some people in non-patient centered roles might not want to take part in an experience like ours, potentially flagging it as an unnecessary use of time and investment?

Urs’s response was that in fact the people who are working in finance were the first to apply for ‘A Life in a Day’ programme which made it clear why it was so valuable to offer something across organisation. Even for these functions, there is strategic business value in patient-centric experiences. Not only to motivate and educate, but also in bringing teams closer together with a clear goal in mind.

As Urs puts it, “they all have their different functions and different reporting lines, but this purpose of patient centricity – that’s the common denominator. That’s everyone’s goal. Everything we do, should be driving patient access in our innovations.”

To embed change driven by undertaking the experience within each department and throughout the organisation, Urs highlights the importance of follow-up discussions and activities to explore what can be done differently off the back of their learnings. Ensuring this is more than a one-time activity*, by applying a mindset of continual innovation with the patient in mind. A vital step towards ingrained patient centricity.

From our point of view, Urs’s decision to put everyone through a patient-centric programme is what we stand for. It was fantastic to hear that the impact was to begin to generate a more patient-centric mindset. As a result of this programme they now implemented a patient week demonstrating that this is more than just a one-time activity, and applying the mindset of continual innovation with the patient in mind.

More than Stats

There is also value for those with decades of experience working with patients and research bodies.

I have worked in Oncology for more than ten years, but I have learned so much. I’ve also been touched in an emotional way like never before – I’ve had tears in certain experiences. It was a very deep experience, therefore very beneficial.

During our Diabetes week webinar, we explored the impact our experiences can have on practitioners, even amongst those with over a quarter century of experience. Urs identifies the importance of understanding the patient experience and compares how this can be invaluable in conversations both internally and externally:

Often, we talk about studies, statistics and so on. And I realized, you can always debate statistics, studies and so on. What you cannot debate, is what the patients go through. Their suffering… and their need for something that truly makes a difference in their condition.

It not only creates common ground in discussions and promotes patient-centric activity but it has been a massive motivator for the team, which Urs explains is hugely valuable:

You leave that programme with a new level of motivation. You know why you get up early in the morning, why you put in those extra hours, why you are persistent with a customer or stakeholder. Because you truly make a difference for patients.

A High-Value Learning Journey

So, what is the next step for Urs?

Now having identified it, they are now focusing on a new therapy area for 2023. Urs has not yet revealed what this will be, so watch this space…

Why not try an experience for yourself?

Get in Touch

If you are interested or have questions about A Life in A Day, please reach out and contact us.

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