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Patient Onboarding – Don’t Lose Them Before They’ve Started

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

As a patient begins their journey on a new therapy, their experience with that medication can be impacted by the resources aligned to support the patient throughout their journey. Across accessibility, affordability, clinical education, and care coordination, there is a multitude of functions that can tax patients and impact their adherence to therapy. If a patient has a less than favorable experience during the initiation of a new therapy, they may stop the treatment prematurely, which may then impact how a prescriber views that medication in the future. Ultimately, this experience may impact that patient’s outcome.

One of the most important milestones for a patient starting a new treatment is the patient onboarding experience. The questions are simple:

  • How will they gain access to this newly prescribed medication?
  • What can they expect from this new therapy related to the dosing schedule, side effects, and length of treatment?

When addressing the question about gaining access to therapy, it is critical to ensure patient timelines and financial needs are addressed in a clear, transparent, and prompt manner to ensure the medication is initiated. When a hub provider is involved, the welcome call sets patient expectations and begins to grow the relationship between the patient and their support services. One way to keep efficiencies is by automating as many of the initial checkpoints, such as prior authorizations and benefit verification. This can transform the time involved and help patients to obtain their new medication as quickly as possible. In addition, there are considerations for financial support, such as a co-pay offer or Patient Assistance Programs for qualifying patients.

Another aspect impacting the onboarding of a patient is the education required for certain therapeutics. An example of this would be with a drug that is administered through an injection and causes significant side effects. An injection requires basic education on the how-to aspects of giving an injection, but what can be overlooked is the education required to balance the side effects and the effectiveness of that therapy. The services provided by a Clinical Nurse Educator team should not be underestimated as they can help to build confidence for the patient and/or caregiver with the injections, while also keeping the HCP informed of the patient’s progress. This level of service can have a direct impact on the patient experience, not only overcoming hesitancy in initiating therapy but increasing their compliance and adherence to therapy long-term.

Taking the time to evaluate and thoughtfully plan how a patient will be communicated with during the initiation of therapy can have a direct result on their level of engagement and commitment to therapy. At UBC, we offer traditional case management, digital application tools, and clinical nurse educators. Each of these resources can be customized to ensure that patients’ needs are met by aligning the right mode of interaction to the patient preferences as they align to the therapeutic area of the patient population. This will maximize the engagement of patients with the common goal of providing speed to access and consistent, clear communication for the next steps of receiving their treatment.

UBC is an industry leader in providing patient services in access and engagement. Whether a brand is newly created to pave the pathway in an evolving therapeutic area or if a brand is deep into its life cycle and striving to be more efficient with how they impact a patient, UBC can help. At UBC, the patient is at the center of how we design and implement programs and we look forward to engaging in a conversation about how our services may help your brand.

To get in touch with us and set up a meeting at this week’s Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, visit

About the Author

Melissa Maney has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry understanding and applying knowledge of patient journeys for ultra-rare patients and specialty products. She applies this knowledge to fit clients with customized support service designs for their unique patient population in her role as Executive Director, Client Development at UBC.