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We believe improving healthcare is all about people and the relationships they have

Fall in love with your evidence again.

Using limited resources and data to build a compelling story that creates and defends the value proposition for a healthcare intervention (service, surgery or medicine) is one of the most important – and difficult – tasks for anyone managing a healthcare business.

It is easy to be shocked by the poor use of evidence that companies make when it comes to constructing the value story for their healthcare brands.

Too frequently the company aiming to promote an intervention do not put enough energy into seeing the world from the perspective of the person who will pay for it (patient, health-system payer, insurer, person shopping for an OTC medicine) from the very beginning of their clinical investigation and trial programme.

At the late stages of pricing and reimbursement, or creating a value proposition, it is churlish to be wishing that some deeper, or different, thinking had been done earlier. Our experience is that, unlike the old saying, you can often ‘start from here’ with the data you have. Your data is often much better than you think and it is time to fall in love with it again.

An evidence portfolio can be enhanced relatively simply, quickly and cost effectively. These thoughts come from a long experience of working with, often imperfect, data in order to design care pathways, choose between medicines and make reimbursement decisions. This approach is particularly relevant to the competitive world of differentiating products and services using evidence even in the absence of large clinical investment.

Firstly, remember the obvious things about clinical studies and real-world research:

  1. No single study provides ‘the answer’.
    Even when beautifully designed, bias, chance and simple errors can, and do, occur.
  2. There is no such thing as a perfect study design.
    A well-designed study will set out to answer a question and be specifically designed to do just that, it will have strengths and weaknesses. Pose a different question and these the weaknesses, especially, become obvious and magnified.
  3. A study lives or dies on its methodology.
    We may or may not like the results, but whether we trust them or use them depends entirely on the methodology used to get them. As studies get more complex it is easy to inadvertently design them in such a way that they undermines their own results.

So, here are 5 things that you should consider when you are faced with a weak portfolio, generic data or when you want to build a data-set to differentiate or support your brand and you lack the money – or time – to run a large study program:

  1. People first. Use simple studies of Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMs) to display outcomes that are meaningful for patients and compelling for payers.
  2. Describe Context. Capture natural history and epidemiology to provide comparative data to highlight the benefit of the intervention.
  3. Polish. Prospectively re-analyse a study’s results; this can yield valuable insights without the cost of setting up and running a whole new trial.
  4. Triangulate. Run simple studies, in parallel, to provide a basis for comparison and defend against potential alternative explanations arising from your main studies;
  5. Borrow. Systematically draw together the other work that has been done in the same field. This is by far the most cost-effective way to get a large number of robust, brand enhancing insights and clear baseline data.

Get the relevant data created this way into the public domain, any every way you can, as peer-reviewed papers, reports, gray papers and then use it, quote it and reference it! This maximises the insights from the investments and supports the effective display of value. It’s like a puzzle and requires creativity when you fit the data pieces together.

This approach when wedded to practical, expert input will pull together a roadmap to evolve and build stronger evidence in an environment of finite resources, it will fail if it is allowed to become a ‘tick-box’ exercise.

This blog draws on content originally posted by Muzeable []