Q&A: Point-of-care perspective

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AccentHealth’s Andrew Schulman, VP marketing, recently sat down with DSN to talk about a new regular DSN feature debuting in this issue called “Patient Views,” and how this series of surveys can help inform pharmacy operators and healthcare suppliers alike.

DSN: What is AccentHealth, and why should retail pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturers and consumer packaged goods companies pay attention?

Andrew Schulman: AccentHealth has been in the point-of-care space [with a health education TV network] for the last 17 years. We are the leader of patient education in that space. We have a programming partnership with CNN, so what you’re seeing is targeted and exclusive health-and-wellness programming in the doctor’s office. That provides us a very unique opportunity to engage patients … at the point of care. … Because we have a viewer panel of over 3,000 respondents, we’re able to engage them to get some insights, see what’s working [and] what isn’t working for the retail pharmacy. For CPG, that’s another access point for us where we can engage the chief medical officer of the home, who of course is Mom.

DSN: What is “Patient Views,” and how will it work?

Schulman: We felt that if we could provide that deeper research at the point of care with this consumer group — we have 173 million Nielsen-verified viewers every year — that’s a pretty good swatch of America when it comes to how do we look into their lifestyle, whether it’s consumer behaviors, whether it’s trends. What we’re hoping to gain from this partnership is to offer a solution or service to the pharmacy executive. … What’s the pulse of this consumer, right now? And be able to get that response in a very quick [turnaround]. We provide that kind of [behind-the-scenes] access to what I’ll call ‘pharmacy trend-spotting.’ Is it working? We’ve seen a lot of different types of strategies when it comes to engaging the pharmacy customer. … The last piece of it, because of the timeliness of it, checks the pulse of the nation and the national conversation around health and wellness as a whole. There’s a lot of change and a lot of decisions that are happening at very high levels of government that may affect some very personal decisions.

DSN: How will this be made actionable? 

Schulman: We’re going to do two to three different surveys from now until the end of the year. With DSN’s editorial staff crafting those questions, I think you’re going to see a lot of different types of insights. That actionable item is really around what’s working and what isn’t. Surprises. Trends. What’s going on with consumer behavior. Here’s one [line of questioning]: Is there greater value to having the pharmacist out in the aisles versus not, and do consumers think that’s important? We add an extra layer of reinforcement and qualification of retail pharmacy strategies, or a way to engage that customer in a new and different way.

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