3 min read

Five reflections from the first year of Atlas

Moving towards improved outcomes for patients

Atlas is just over a year old and it’s been an incredible journey so far. While we have gone full-circle with a return to home working, many things have changed. We published our first white paper in 2021, built our team and delivered some fascinating work with clients. Projects have explored strategy, culture and evaluation for patient-oriented work. As the year starts to draw to a close, we offer five reflections and questions for 2022.

Work backwards from outcomes

Patient outcomes continue to play an important role in policy, literature and clinical practice, with measures being defined and utilised across different disease areas. We are seeing an evolution in thinking, with research exploring how outcome measures may need to correlate with the natural course of a disease. What might this mean for development of patient support resources?

Think social as well as behavioural

Behavioural science has an important role to play in supporting patients and improving healthcare outcomes. As health-tech continues to advance and integrated pathways become commonplace, we should think beyond isolated behaviours and towards the social factors that can affect outcomes. How should patients and healthcare professionals from a range of backgrounds work together to achieve outcomes? What might this mean for service redesign projects?

Meet patients where they are

Patient involvement is becoming the norm across all aspects of healthcare: from research through to co-design of patient materials and programmes. However, the COVID-crisis has highlighted variable engagement across communities. The digital divide risks excluding certain voices. We must continue to strive for equitable representation of patient perspectives. What might this mean for communications and community relations?

Evaluate experience

Organisations can only involve patients in decision-making and co-design when culture and processes enable it. We have seen much progress in the implementation of ‘patient centricity’. Many departments within pharmaceutical companies aim to engage patients. From the patient’s perspective, this engagement should be streamlined, provide a positive experience and deliver meaningful outputs. What is the best way to evaluate this?

Understand why works

The ultimate goal of patient-oriented work is to improve outcomes: for patients and the health system. We can collaborate with a diverse group of patients when we have the right culture and processes. This collaboration can deliver value when we understand the outcomes that matter to patients, the behavioural/social factors that impact this, and develop appropriate tools and resources. But these resources will only reach their full potential if they can work in different healthcare contexts. We need to know why things work – and the factors that influence this are often subtle. How can we best explore ‘why works?’

Do these questions resonate with you? What are the big issues you aim to address in 2022? Share your views with us here

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