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What Is Patient-Centricity?

What Is Patient-Centricity?
 By Norman M. Goldfarb 

The recent CHI Summit for Clinical Ops Executives (SCOPE) conference in Miami offered almost 1,300 attendees from pharmas, biotechs, CROs and other service providers numerous sessions on patient-centricity and a broad range of other topics. Most clinical research professionals would probably agree that patient-centricity is very important, but we lack a common understanding of the term. This article will propose a definition for patient-centricity and identify characteristics that make a clinical study patient-centric. Defining “Patient-Centricity” The first principle in defining patient-centricity is that the term itself should be patientcentric. In other words, when patients read the definition, they should agree with it from their perspective. Patient-centricity is not about our goal of recruiting more patients for clinical studies — it’s about their goals when they participate in a clinical study. It is not about our methods for communicating information to patients — it’s about their preferences for obtaining information. Since different patients have different goals, concerns and preferences, the second principle of patient-centricity is that it must be specific to each individual patient, or at least each group of patients with like characteristics. Patient-centric studies provide a personalized experience for each study participant. The third principle of patient-centricity is that it begins when a study is contemplated and ends when the patient’s experience is complete. The fourth principle of patient-centricity is that is applies when a person is a patient, when he or she becomes a study participant, and when he or she returns to being a patient. (In this article, the terms “patient” and “participant” will be used interchangeably.) Based on these principles, we can now propose a definition of patient-centricity: A clinical study is patient-centric when, from each study participant’s perspective, it achieves his or her goals in a manner sensitive to his or her individual concerns and preferences, over the entire life cycle of the study. Although it has not been proven empirically, patient-centricity should also help achieve the study sponsor’s goals. 


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