Companies can also help produce practical materials that summarise key information in a succinct way, to serve as a reference for instructing physicians on how to manage or refer patients as appropriate. Patients themselves can also be empowered to become ‘experts in their disease’, and utilise information developed by the patient advocacy groups, often in collaboration with biopharmaceutical companies. Companies can help here through appropriate engagement of these groups and facilitation with KOLs and other MDT members to ensure the information is complete and relevant.
On top of communicating effectively with KOLs, the wider MDT, and patient advocacy groups, companies can have a positive impact by helping improve patient pathways. Healthcare systems recognise this unmet need, but may not have the capacity or available skills to make the change alone. Through effective and appropriate collaboration, companies can be involved in each stage of the pathway improvement process. For example, companies could help healthcare systems understand their current pathway through tools like health resource utilisation analysis and time and motion studies. This will provide a baseline and create a ‘case for change’ by highlighting blocks and inefficiencies within the current referral and diagnostic pathway. In terms of generating impactful change, companies can assist by developing KOL/payer consensus on what an optimal pathway looks like and communicating this across the MDT to ensure everyone is aware of the role they have to play in its delivery. Following this, further analysis can be undertaken to assess impact, and toolkits can be developed to facilitate other sites in implementing similar changes.