Care4Today®Orthopaedic Solutions: Activating the Patient

Deserved double winner at the Barcelona Awards, Janssen Health Innovation is a lesson in the provision of a holistic solution.

Left to right: Sylvain Goblet, Marco Mohwinckel, Mirren Mandalia, Nayanabhiram Kalnad of Janssen Healthcare Innovation.

Janssen Healthcare Innovation (JHI) was recently celebrated for its team’s success at the eyeforpharma Barcelona Awards, achieving a double win with the innovative solutions targeted at empowering patients, improving outcomes and also enhancing both patient and provider experience.

The prize for ‘Most Valuable Patient Initiative’ was taken home by Care4Today® Orthopaedic Solutions, a patient engagement and management solution. The guiding goal of the project was to improve the care experience of hip/knee replacement patients undergoing voluntary surgery, and it has shown early success with the completion of a pilot in collaboration with DePuySynthes and Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

The solution focuses on improving the patient management process from the moment that the patient is assigned a surgery date through to discharge and rehabilitation.  Lengthy patient stays were proving costly to the hospital, and existing engagement procedures were time-intensive for staff and sub-optimal to the patient.

JHI designed a new approach that combined different engagement channels with improved management protocols and a bespoke, intuitive, technology platform. We caught up with Sylvain Goblet, Commercial Lead at JHI, who led the project to find out more about the inspiration for the project and why they focused on Orthopaedic care.

eyeforpharma: Thank you for joining us Sylvain, and congratulations on your award. So tell us, how did the project actually get started?

Sylvain: At the beginning of our work at JHI, we were exploring areas of healthcare in need of innovation, and we quickly saw a space that had high relevance. Elective hip surgeries had very clear KPI’s, and we saw a pattern around patient management in need of optimization, that we could possibly impact reasonably quickly.

With this target, we defined a three-part approach: to engage the patient, to link the patient to hospital before and after treatment, and also to optimize the hospital processes for patient management.  We then contacted Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, known for innovation leadership, and they agreed to collaborate with JHI and DePuySynthes in the development of the solution and pilot.

Care delivery was not as efficient as it could be, creating unnecessary costs, possibly affecting outcomes and impacting both staff and patient satisfaction. Our hypothesis was that this was due to the fact that the patient didn't play an active role in their own care, and the hospital was not set up to enable them to do so.”

eyeforpharma: How did you decide on which parts of the patient journey to focus? 

Sylvain: We didn’t start out by just trying to deliver an engagement service, but instead we worked to truly identify a problem and then build a solution to solve the problem. 

Simply put, care delivery was not as effective as it could be, creating unnecessary costs, possibly affecting outcomes and impacting both staff and patient satisfaction. Our hypothesis was that this was due to the fact that the patient didn't play an active role in their own care, and the hospital was not set up to enable them to do so.  

eyeforpharma: Can you talk us through the design philosophy that guided the development process?

Sylvain: We designed the solution around three principles: patient engagement, consistency and continuity of care. Before joining JHI, my only experience in healthcare was as a patient, and thinking from the patient perspective, I could see that the connection between the hospital and the patient could and should be utilized more.  It was clear that these components needed to be connected and integrated together; stand-alone patient engagement would not work without changing the processes of patient management within the hospital. Part of the problem has been that the technology for patient management has not evolved as fast as the environment, limiting the potential to truly link patients with their healthcare teams. We believe that having a knowledgeable patient who has clear guidance and the right support gives them confidence so they can play a role in solving this problem.

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eyeforpharma: How do you achieve this ‘activation’ of the patient?

Sylvain: It is important to remember that some people prefer listening, some reading, others want an interaction. We developed a selection of materials and touch points that could meet many preferences. We have an information pack, videos and an interactive website that links to the hospital which then can track the progress of the patient and respond proactively.

When we deliver this resource, it has to be tailored to the workflow of the hospital and be one of many assets that the hospital can use to interact with the patient. This integration is part of our offering, which enables the hospital to optimize their interactions with the patient.

The patient is registered on the program and receives the information pack once the physician and the patient agree to go ahead with surgery.

eyeforpharma: Will the need to customize the resource to the hospital create a barrier to scale?

Sylvain: There is a whole industry built on this type of work, it won't be a barrier to achieving scale, but it is definitely a major success factor for the solution going forward. 

We will have other challenges ahead too, we are only focused on a few categories of surgeries at the moment and we need to have a broader scope in the treatments we can serve. Secondly, this whole solution comes at a price; we need to make sure that the way we have built and structured our solution is truly affordable for as many customers as possible.

You partner with people, and you need them to be very receptive to innovation and change.

eyeforpharma: How did you build this partnership?

Sylvain: In the end, you partner with people, and you need them to be very receptive to innovation and change. You ideally want a centre that has a strong reputation as well, as you want to use this to validate your work. Finally, and most importantly, you want a partner who has a need for your solution. Each of these were aligned when we reached out to Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.


Click here to enlarge the infographic.

eyeforpharma: How did you actually measure the pilot? Can you talk me through the results?

Sylvain: We actually borrowed our evaluation methodology from traditional pharma practices; it was a great learning experience for the teams doing the pilot measurement.

The core metric that we wanted to improve was the length of stay for patients in the hospital after treatment. We were able to reduce length of stay with the pilot, and in fact, depending on the level of support provided, this could change quite significantly. It is important to note that leaving hospital earlier hasn’t impacted clinical outcomes.

Patient satisfaction also remained very high, however it is important to remember that there was quite a dramatic change in the patient experience with this new approach, so you cannot really compare the before and after. We are aiming to publish the outcomes of the service evaluation in the next few months.

eyeforpharma: What advice would you give to others trying this approach? Is it appropriate for everyone in pharma?

Sylvain: It is a question of focus, and how solutions fit in the core business strategy. The second element of the answer is around the resources and capabilities needed to deliver. A success factor for JHI is that we brought in external capabilities with experience in building solutions, which are generally not widely available in pharma core business.

eyeforpharma: How has this informed your thinking as to what is possible for future projects? 

Sylvain: We have many ideas for future projects.  What’s important is the how in how we solved the problem; our approach is relevant for many places that have the same problems, so I see a lot of potential.

eyeforpharma:Thank you for joining us and sharing your thoughts, and congratulations on your award once again.

Sylvain: You’re very welcome, thank you.

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