A Patient-Centric Approach to Technology and Analytics
In today's commercialization services landscape, any patient support services provider can supplement manufacturer programs with technology. But are they making an impact in the lives of patients? Myra Reinhardt, Vice President of Product Innovation and Analytics, shares insight on how Lash Group combines technology, data and human intervention to improve access to therapy for patients.
Q: What intrigues you most about product innovation and analytics?
Myra Reinhardt: I think everything ties back to data. We can most effectively help patients make informed decisions by providing the best information to them at the moment they need it. We use data as a tool to help inform and design access solutions so that we can meet patients wherever they are in their treatment journey.
Our team is constantly thinking about new ways to advance what our services can do for patients by developing both usable products and effective analytics. We consider not only what data we need now, but also what we will need to know a few months down the line. We pay close attention to the patient journey data we capture over time so we can use analytics and leverage tools such as artificial intelligence and predictive capabilities in order to best serve the healthcare community.
Q: How do you motivate your team to share in your vision of advancing technology in order to benefit patients?
MR: Most of us have been patients at some point in our lives or have loved ones who have been patients, and we apply everything we do to real-life stories and examples. I encourage my team to consider how technology will translate back to an associate who is helping a patient on the front line, or how our work will directly impact a patient and their ability to access the treatment they need. If we introduce unnecessary steps or the process of using our services is stressful, that can affect the experience of the end user. When we encounter a challenge, it's not so much that a feature or function isn't working as we hoped, but that this feature or function is, for example, ultimately helping a patient get their medicine faster or delaying it. That's where we have an opportunity for innovation.
Q: How does technology enable Lash Group associates and complement their skills?
MR: Our solutions enable our associates to focus on the right work at the right time. If there isn't a value add by having them complete a particular task, we explore automation to alleviate that work from the associate. We want to ensure associates are engaging in activities that require their skills and thoughtfulness. If tasks are repetitive or can be managed through workflow or predictive AI, we remove or replace those steps so that our associates can apply that time to working at the highest possible level of their knowledge and skills.
Q: What do you think are the biggest myths around implementing new technologies in healthcare, such as electronic benefit verification?
MR: People often assume that technology advancements will make processes and products more cumbersome. While the initial implementation of new technology can come with some complexity, the long-term value and efficiency that it creates for a program and its ability to better serve patients is well worth it.
In the past, there was this idea that any piece of new technology had to do 100 percent of everything you were looking for or it wasn't a sufficient solution. As the industry has evolved over the last five to ten years, we've come to a place where people see that incremental gains are also important. If technology can do 30 percent or 50 percent of the work and leave the rest to be addressed by trained associates, there's real value in that. We can implement a solution today and then refine and push to evolve it over time.
Q: What is Lash Group's overall strategy for investing in technology and analytics?
MR: We want to provide valuable insights to our customers that enable them to make informed, strategic decisions for their programs so they can best serve patients. We're thinking about how we can best leverage AI and predictive capabilities to help our customers better meet patient needs. We also seek to bring in outside data on trends that are happening in the healthcare industry in order to provide a more holistic view.
From a product and technology perspective, it's along the same lines: How can we best meet patients' needs today while also anticipating what they'll need as healthcare evolves and planning for new services to emerge?