Multichannel Excellence and Patient Summit Europe 2016

Multichannel Excellence and Patient Summit Europe 2016

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I had the pleasure of spending a few days at the Multichannel Excellence and Patient summit conference in London this week. This included presentations, networking and debates about our current healthcare systems across Europe.

As my position as a recruiter, I feel to attend conferences is not only good for networking but also to learn about the market, new trends and future trends of the healthcare industry.

The conference started with the customer’s needs, wants and the general ‘how I want to be sold to’ service. I think this can be forgotten about in various industries, including pharmaceutical and recruitment areas where the ‘Service channel’ can be somewhat left out altogether.

Does the sales environment take over and the service side get left behind? Maybe, but why is this in the first place. Why do sales forget that KPI’s are not the main concern but the client is? This did make me question the intention of sales professionals (and yes I am one myself) however this could be changed by a few simple steps, one could be a partnership, showing the client they care about more than KPI’s and figures?

Partnerships need to evolve within the pharmaceutical industry as transformation will not work without it. Companies need to look ‘outside the box’ to make vital transformations to their organisations of the future. There was a question on how agencies (recruitment) could support this changes and needs of merging organisations given the different skill sets needed.

Agencies need to be more specialised and get the right expert skills to fit into the merge and create growth by bringing in new/ more specific ideas and not just matching a job specification by a job title. An ongoing debate was as to why the big agencies are used all the time when smaller agencies fit the bill by being more niche and specific to needs. If you don’t have the right people you can’t move forwards!

Partnerships were covered in the conference by ongoing links with pharma and charities such as Cancer research and Findacure. These partnerships not only give support to patients but also are non-profitable so create a sense of ‘repurpose’ to the medicines. They develop deprioritized drugs and have a passion for the patients with creation such as social media events (ice bucket challenge and Movember) – there is a link to the digital side there by the way! Also if you partner, you will become more apparent on the net.

Why are we not engaging more with the patients directly? Social media is a great way to do this but not enough people are implementing it. By just simply listening we can develop the things that the patients want and need not what we think they may need. Takeda did this wonderfully with a film, they worked with the consultancy C Space to work directly with patients suffering with Cancer across the world. Patients created video diaries and gave insight into their day to day fight with Cancer. These videos not only are touching to watch but also if you are someone who suffers or even a carer this give you a really good idea of what they are going through.

Also Patients are online – we have all been to google to ask the questions such as ‘what does it mean if I have a pain in my back?’, ‘I have heart palpitations, is it dangerous?’.   Yes, Google is the online doctor linking us to forums and HCP’s directly. Even Instagram is becoming a tool for online support and social awareness.

However, the thing that was brought to my attention and worried me the most was the ongoing problem that the multichannel side and patient summit side were not connected?

Now I am no expert in these areas but surely the patient is meant to be the focus in both areas? Digital seemed to more focus towards the business – but the business should be focused towards the patient, no? There is the link – but this was pretty much non-existent until the last few presentations on the Tuesday. 

There seemed to be too many areas of the business that were not in the know of what the other side does – Marketing and Market access for example. How can we expect to move forward if we don’t understand?

I realised I was the only recruitment company present at the conference. I was also asked a few times as to why I was there. As recruiters we should show interest in our industry and yes maybe this is beneficial on a business perspective but why can’t it also be on an intellectual perspective too?

All in all, I met very talented people who are exceptional at what they do, I learnt a lot and made some great partnerships. I highly recommend to all recruiters to attend such events for future reference, I will be ranting about it for a while! 

Also to everyone who attended the conference, I think we would all agree now:  Multichannel does not mean creating a website or emailing #insidejoke

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