Sponsored

For healthcare marketers, combating compassion fatigue is critical

  • Marketers have a role to play in helping to offset the decline of empathy in our healthcare system.
  • Establish an empathic framework for social and digital media engagement, first by listening to patients' emotional experiences.
close

Email a Friend

by Kirsty Whelan, VP, Strategy, imre

In 2017, we reached a milestone – more than half of the world’s population became connected to the internet. That connectivity can be a powerful tool – improving access to global information, promoting positive local and regional economic outcomes, supporting educational initiatives and most certainly bringing us closer to the experiences of people on the other side of the world.

While that connection may have increased our collective capacity for compassion, in other ways the proliferation of personal technology and social media has diminished our capacity for empathy. For example, in 2014, scientists at UCLA found that sixth-graders who went five days without glancing at a screen were better at reading human emotions than their classmates from the same school who spent hours with devices during that same time.

Putting aside the societal impact of a decline in empathy, it’s fair to assume that the trend disproportionately affects our health care system. John Stamatopoulos is president of Empathetics, which provides innovative empathy and interpersonal skills training for medical professionals, and he explained how technology enables compassion fatigue in treatment settings.

“When they spend up to 60 percent of their time inputting information into electronic medical records, clinicians don’t get to spend as much time with patients,” Stamatopoulos said. “Instead of improving healthcare, it’s dehumanizing it, and that’s a catalyst for the decline of empathy.”

Stamatopoulos’ company helps clinicians rediscover joy and fulfillment in the medical practice and he explained how healthcare brands can support its mission.

“Pharma has always excelled at educating clinicians about disease states and treatments. If there is a way to give guidance for how to better initiate conversations with patients, to facilitate a meaningful interaction that addresses the likely concerns of the patient, rather than just listening to complaints, that’s an opportunity.”

Healthcare marketers can also share a role in offsetting this trend.

First, by supporting more initiatives that promote patient engagement — advocating for a dialogue about wellness and not just illness. In this approach, unsurprisingly, engaging patients like people can have a transformative impact on disease awareness and treatment adherence. The key to this is listening closely to the patient’s therapeutic and emotional experiences and establishing an empathic framework for social and digital media engagement.

At imre health, our strategy and creative teams are trained in key empathic methodologies to help pharma brands engage more compassionately with patients and healthcare providers. These methodologies are simple and can be implemented on any brand marketing team.

5x Why

As the complexity of marketing in the digital landscape increases, we need to apply more processes for collaborative thinking, to eliminate silos and thinking biases on our teams. One simple, but effective tool to practice within your team is 5x Why. This iterative problem-solving approach was developed by Sakichi Toyoda to evolve Toyota Motor Company’s manufacturing methodologies. It starts with identifying a problem:

We don’t think patients will share their healthcare experiences on Facebook.

WHY 1x: They are scared to reveal private information to friends and family.

WHY 2x: They don’t want to be judged negatively.

WHY 3x: Feeling judged will hurt their self-esteem.

WHY 4x: Patients care about what their friends and family think of them.

WHY 5x: Patients want to feel understood.

Asking why five times, enables you to get to the root of a problem and brings better focus to your approach for solving that problem with a marketing program.

Designing with and for

With our problem identified, we want to create a participatory construct for communication and design solutions. Typically we are only focused on designing for patients or clinicians, but if we were to instead welcome them into the fold to weigh in on the ideation and prototyping process the end result would be more authentic engagement.

Non-judgmental feedback

When prototyping new ideas based on empathic methodologies, set up a framework for non-judgmental feedback. That means sharing your feedback in the form of a question and doing your best to eliminate any bias in your word choice. You’re trying to shape the concept with a new perspective and a spirit of curiosity, instead of shutting down the idea or the ideator. The prototyper is responsible for capturing the feedback and incorporating solutions in the next iteration of the idea.

If pharma marketers and healthcare communicators can incorporate these methodologies in their planning practice, it will help us maximize the role of technology in making people feel better and demand new accountability for promoting empathy across the industry.

0 comments on “For healthcare marketers, combating compassion fatigue is critical”

Finance Everywhere, Sponsored

BaaS or BS? How to separate hype from value in embedded finance

  • For brands, the aim of embedding banking features into their products should be to enrich their offerings in the marketplace.
  • The needs of a program servicing 5 million customers are very different from those of a programmer who wants to get their first 500 customers. The reality is that it's hard enough to launch a program that customers will transact with daily, let alone scale it.
Lindi Miti | September 30, 2022
Library, Sponsored

The A-Z of building a compliance program

  • A compliance program is crucial for launching financial products into the marketplace – but the thought of building one may seem like a mammoth task.
  • In its latest eBook, Modern Treasury breaks down the regulatory landscape and sets out an easy-to-follow roadmap for any company to start.
Modern Treasury | September 29, 2022
Data, Podcasts, Sponsored

‘Earned wage access is the next evolution in improving day-to-day liquidity’: Argyle’s Matthew Gomes

  • Director of strategy at Argyle, Matt Gomes, joins us on the Tearsheet Podcast.
  • Listen in to our conversation about how payroll and employment data API platforms enable financial institutions to bring the next generation of financial products to consumers.
Argyle | September 22, 2022
Data, Podcasts, Sponsored

‘Developers have become as central a figure as the banks’: Fiserv’s Niranjan Ramaswamy

  • VP and GM of embedded fintech at Fiserv, Niranjan Ramaswamy, joins us on the Tearsheet Podcast.
  • Listen to our conversation about how Fiserv empowers developers to build products that bring fintechs and FIs together.
Fiserv | September 21, 2022
Data, Podcasts, Sponsored

‘Not all fintech integrations are created equal’: Fiserv’s Jon Nordhausen

  • VP of product strategy at Fiserv, Jon Nordhausen, joins us on the Tearsheet Podcast.
  • Listen to our conversation about how cloud data integration is removing friction and enabling new capabilities for data to flow seamlessly between fintechs and FIs.
Fiserv | September 07, 2022
More Articles