Less than one in five UK patients is aware of services

10 June 2015 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

Less than one in five UK patients is aware of the services available to them, research by Accenture shows. The study also reveals that of the patients that are aware of the services, almost 60% will make use of the offerings. According to the firm, the results highlight the opportunity for pharma companies to improve their impact in healthcare by investing in providing information and access to patient services.

In a recently released report, titled ‘Patient Services - Pharma’s Best Kept Secret’, Accenture researches the extent of unmet patient needs across a patient’s care journey. The consulting firm’s research is based on a survey of 10,000 patients in the US, UK, France, Germany and Brazil across seven therapeutic areas. The UK survey included 2,000 respondents.

Patients are generally not aware of services available

One of the key findings of the research is that the vast majority of patients are not aware of the services available to help them. Globally, less than one in five (19%) patients is aware of the available services, with the number even lower in the UK, at 17%. The research shows that the awareness, while low in across all services in the UK, is the lowest in when it comes to dealing with payers/insurers, at 6%, and the highest when it comes to obtaining information on a specific condition (34%).

Usage of services when aware

The research also shows that 59% of the patients use services when they are aware of them. While usage of specific patient services varies, utilisation is generally high across all services provided. In the UK, the highest usage of services (74%) is found with services that provide information on a condition.

Services valued

In the UK, almost three out of four patients rate the services available as ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ valuable, with this level of satisfaction seen across all disease states. The lowest valued services, at 60%, are those related to guidance for better ways to pay for treatment, while the highest valued services (80%) are those set up to get detailed information on treatment options.

When it comes to receiving information on the available services, UK patients prefer their healthcare professionals, such as doctors, specialists, nurses or pharmacists, to be the primary source of information, with 67% preferring their doctor. Digital channels come in second and are a preferred source of at 57% of patients. The vast majority wants one point of contact to help them manage their health, with 86% preferring their healthcare professionals.

Primary source of information on services

Commenting on the results, Tony Romito, Managing Director of Accenture Life Sciences, says: “These findings show there is a significant opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to improve their impact in healthcare by raising patient awareness of value-added services throughout a patient’s care journey. [...] Most pharmaceutical companies today have not prioritised messaging around patient services to healthcare professionals and instead have focused messaging on areas such as clinical efficacy, safety, and access. With less than one in five patients aware of patient services, these survey results indicate investments in providing information and access to patient services should be revisited.”