Empathy: a key ingredient for an exceptional patient experience

Published 04/25/2019
by Kathryn Edwards

Empathy is a critical quality our partner health systems seek in every clinic-based pharmacist and specialty pharmacy liaison. When team members demonstrate empathy, we know every patient they interact with will feel supported and valued.

Since the clinical pharmacists and pharmacy liaisons at our partner health systems interact face-to-face with patients every day, they know how difficult it can be to have a chronic or complex condition, like cancer or HIV. That understanding is why they always make each patient’s experience as worry-free as possible.

Recently, a clinical pharmacist shared how he was able to help make one patient’s day a little easier. The patient was newly diagnosed with HIV and had come to North Memorial Health for his first appointment with an infectious disease specialist.

Before the patient even completed his labs, the clinical pharmacist was able to verify the patient’s benefits and submit the patient’s medication order. He then picked up the patient’s medication from the on-site pharmacy and hand-delivered it to the patient in the clinic. He even consulted the patient’s treatment center so he could let the patient know the best way to bring the medications into the facility.

The patient and his physician appreciated this fast turnaround and exceptional experience. Here’s what the clinical pharmacist had to say: “New data supports immediate initiation of antiretroviral therapy when patients are first diagnosed with HIV. Because we work in the clinic alongside patients’ doctors and nurses, we can proactively remove barriers to medication access. This helps ensure patients start therapy as quickly as possible and stay on it long-term.”

It may seem simple, but this level of service eases the uncertainty patients feel after a new diagnosis and creates a pathway to better outcomes. Empathetic team members like this clinical pharmacist let patients know they are not alone on their journey and provide the support patients need to manage their health.

Ready to discuss how clinic-based specialty pharmacy services can enhance the patient experience at your health system? Contact us here.