New Data Shows Specialty Pharmacy Tops Health Care Industry in Patient Satisfaction, Driven by Superior Fulfillment, Empathy & Knowledgeability
National Association of Specialty Pharmacyâ€™s performance measurement tool helps members boost patient engagement and enhanced clinical outcomes.
At the fifth annual National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) meeting today, NASP Executive Director Sheila Arquette unveiled new data underscoring the superior value of specialty pharmacy, along with ways health care organizations across the continuum of care can transform the patient experience with actionable plans for immediate improvement and ongoing results.
“As the debate about how best to transform the delivery of health care in America continues, achieving The Triple Aim remains a constant,” said NASP Executive Director Sheila Arquette. “The ultimate goal of improving the quality of care and ensuring patient satisfaction while cutting wasteful spending remains a major focus. NASP is thrilled to be partnering with SullivanLuallin Group to offer a specialty pharmacy patient satisfaction tool designed to create an independent, non-biased industry gold standard, promote benchmarking data standardization, and provide meaningful insights to NASP members. This tool will help us to amplify our advocacy efforts at the federal and state levels, while driving increased patient engagement and enhanced clinical outcomes.”
NASP partnered with SullivanLuallin Group (SLG), a national health care consulting firm, to produce a Patient Survey Program to measure key performance areas affecting patient engagement. By standardizing a performance measurement tool, the intent was to make it easier for payors, manufacturers, patients and pharmacies to adequately understand and benchmark their performance against other organizations. Specifically, the survey evaluated issues related to access, prescription fulfillment, pharmacy/staff performance, billing, overall satisfaction and willingness to refer friends or family members, and pertinent demographic information.
Key performance metrics around patient satisfaction were driven by prompt call center interactions and prescription fulfillment, staff listening skills and empathy, and staff knowledge of disease and medication. The analysis revealed interesting insights into specialty pharmacy performance at a broad level, such as the determination of a Net Promoter Score (NPS)-- a cross-industry standardized index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures a customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service, as well as a customer’s loyalty to the brand. Determining a NPS allows for a comparison between specialty pharmacy and other service-oriented organizations in a variety of sectors, as well as specialty versus traditional pharmacies.
An evaluation of specialty pharmacies versus traditional pharmacies is dramatic. The average NPS in the traditional pharmacy setting is just 28 compared to the 78.6 score of specialty pharmacies, showing how the patient experience within a specialty pharmacy is dramatically different than that of a big-box pharmacy or drugstore chain, pointing to the unique value offered by specialty pharmacies.
Other results showed how successful specialty pharmacies extend customer support beyond the dispensing of prescriptions, as many specialty patients are dealing with life-threatening illnesses or diseases that take both a physical and emotional toll. As a result, a pharmacy’s training program should not just focus on knowledgeable support—but also best practices for offering respectful and compassionate guidance during these challenging times. Also, given theâ€¨instant gratification of today’s digital world, customer expectations around communication are at an all-time high. Patients not only compare their interactions with a specialty pharmacy against other health care interactions— they also consider broader online banking, shopping and other retail experiences. As such, patients expect to have varied communication options including mail, email, text, app, phone and in-person.
NASP represents over 50 healthcare industry leaders, working on behalf of retail and specialty pharmacies, drug distributors and hospital systems on legislative and regulatory efforts for the association, which has 250 member pharmacies. Patient satisfaction not only ties directly to increased revenue, but is also a critical area of focus for pharmacy partners like payors and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
According to the Drug Channels Institute, specialty drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020. Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.
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