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What is HCP Engagement?

What is HCP Engagement?


What is HCP engagement and how can it help your business through the various stages of a treatment’s lifecycle? In this article, we will discuss how Healthcare Providers (HCPs) can be identified, engaged and even enrolled as advocates to help pharmaceutical companies implement effective marketing strategies.

What HCP Engagement Can Do For Your Brand

Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to their customers to develop treatments that improve and save lives. But they also have the challenge of running responsible and profitable businesses. Unlike other industries where end users are the primary decision-makers, HCPs (not patients) are most often the primary decision-makers in the utilization of pharmaceutical treatments. This makes it essential for brands to have a powerful HCP engagement strategy that maximizes the utilization of their treatments while simultaneously improving outcomes for patients.  HCPs can help brands in a number of ways. Some might be considered high-writers due to the large volume of prescriptions they write. These clinicians can have an impact on treatment adoption and a strong impact on profitability. Other HCPs may have amassed substantial influence over their peers and networks through their research papers, involvement with clinical trials, stature at major institutions and public discussions on diseases where they have particular expertise or specialization. These HCPs are often known as ThoughtLeaders (TLs) or Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and can really drive interest around the research and treatments companies are developing. By tapping into these industry allies, pharma companies can build strategies around HCPs to maximize the effectiveness of their treatment lifecycle strategies.

What is a HCP Engagement Strategy?

To be successful, you need to know what HCP engagement strategies can help you maximize impact. By planning far ahead and designing a program that will bring various HCPs into the process at different stages, brands can build momentum around their treatments. 

An important first step is clearly understanding company and treatment goals. One way to do this is to map out the stages of a treatment lifecycle as early as possible in the process and decide what type of HCPs you need to engage at what time and for what purpose. 

For example, some HCPs have comprehensive experience in your disease state and could provide real-time data about unmet market needs and suggestions for product adaptations. In the earliest stages, it’s vital to talk with global and national ThoughtLeaders to inform treatment development.

Other HCPs are trusted by their peers and can serve as marketing liaisons in the lead-up to a treatment’s launch by speaking about study results in public spheres and encouraging other clinicians to consider your treatment in prescribing decisions. When you get closer to launch, engaging global, national, regional and local KOLs will increase the likelihood that they impact other KOLs, clinicians, institutions and formularies.

Here are a few ways to find HCPs early on in your process: 

  • Read through disease state research papers in respected journals
  • Attend conferences where clinicians of interest are converging 
  • Look through the ranks of institutions 
  • See who led clinical research and trials in your disease state
  • Check out the ThoughtLeaders driving conversations online 

What HCP Engagement Looks Like

Since the pandemic shifted HCP interactions online, it has become increasingly important for brands to understand what HCP engagement methods are the most effective in an increasingly virtual world. 75% of HCPs want to keep or increase digital interactions, according to the 2022 Veeva Pulse Field Trends Report. That creates opportunities for brands to build valuable online experiences that engage HCPs through panels, educational content, videos, webinars and virtual pharmaceutical dinners.  The key is to understand how HCPs want to engage with your brand. Virtual events can complement in-person meetings, now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted and some clinicians are eager for a return to normalcy. Pharma brands that create meaningful, in-depth touchpoints are more likely to receive a positive outcome. 

What HCP Engagement & MDOutlook Can Do For You

You may find it helpful to work with a company, such as MDOutlook, that specializes in HCP engagement. MDOutlook can provide tools that support your strategy and connect you with the right HCPs at the right time. 

You’ll be able to leverage data to find the HCPs core to your mission (See: Lumineer) and create meaningful touchpoints (See: Activeer), such as virtual content and events. We even provide KPI tracking (See: Orienteer) so that you can measure the performance of your HCP engagement strategy and make real-time adjustments. 

Let’s get started! Watch this free webinar and contact us to schedule a demo.