Real-World Evidence: Why Patients Matter.

December 4, 2014

Take 2 tablets and call me in the morning

We’ve moved, finally, beyond assuming that an off-the-cuff statement like “take 2 and call me in the morning” is first-quotesufficient.  But maybe we haven’t moved far enough to ask the important questions of “why isn’t it sufficient?”. Health Literacy and Cultural Competency are two buzzwords that health professionals are likely to encounter these days, and their importance in achieving a desired endpoint in patient care cannot be understated.

second-quoteSo what exactly does Health Literacy mean?  How do we implement a Cultural Competency in our healthcare system?  And most importantly, what do we need to know to understand how literacy and culture affect health outcomes and research conducted among a wide and diverse patient population?

Healthcare Providers, Researchers, Policy-Makers, and Patient Advocacy groups must consider what happens – or doesn’t happen – when we provide information or health directives to patients who can’t read – or, who may not be able to read on the level on which the information was written.  Sure, the “box may be checked” that the patient received healthcare information, but was it readable, understood, and acted upon?  Why or why not?

venn diagramBeyond literacy, we must also ask about (and understand) the patients’ culture.  To what extent does a patient’s personal identification, language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions influence beliefs and belief systems surrounding health, healing, wellness, illness, disease, and delivery of health services?

As health outcomes researchers and healthcare providers, we must consider both Health Literacy and Cultural Competency in the deployment of healthcare and the conduct of research, particularly real-world evidence (RWE) trials that are often conducted with diverse patient populations.

If you don’t feel you are doing this to the extent that is needed, then you need to hear Dr. Donney John, Founder & CEO of Urban Medical Solutions and Interim Executive Director of NOVAScripts Central, discuss some of these issues and more at the first ever Real-World Evidence virtual Summit hosted by HealthEconomics.Com (for more information or to register please go to:  During his portion of the programming, Don will discuss why RWE should be a focal point for patient care. He’ll also discuss cultural competency and health literacy and what factors to consider in the design, implementation, and communication of results from RWE studies. RWE is important for helping patients feel they are understood and connected with their health. What role do patients play in the development of RWE? What role does RWE play in improving a patient’s management of their care?

So, don’t miss out on the chance to make sure you know what you need to know about Health Literacy and Cultural Competency for Real-World Evidence research.  Oh, and it’s free to attend.  And it’s virtual…meaning you can attend from anywhere on the globe, as long as you have an internet connection.

Thanks for downloading your copy of the Final Findings from the Survey 2014 on Real World Evidence_image001


Putting it all into PROspective

Any Pain

Patients Reported Outcomes (PROs) are acknowledged as a vital component to the complete healthcare picture, but they haven’t gained the traction they deserve. Join us at the RWE Virtual Summit where Linda Abetz-Webb, CEO of Patient-Centred Outcomes Assessment (P-COA), will discuss the compelling reasons why we should be measuring Patient Reported Outcomes. She’ll take a look at where things are now in the PRO world, and where they should be going. Linda will also delve into the ‘patient-centered outcomes’ terminology  (click here to see PCORI’s approach to a definition) that is flooding the healthcare headlines.  Linda will examine RWE from a patient perspective. Linda’s vast experience in this arena will provide for a lively presentation and help the audience gain some PROspective. To register for the Virtual Summit, please go to:

“See” you on the 11th!

More about the Speakers

Donney John is a practicing pharmacist, healthcare consultant and entrepreneur, with considerable expertise in the areas of patient engagement, population health management, transition in care and mobile health technology solutions.  Don is the founder & CEO of Urban Medical Solutions and Interim Executive Director of NovaScripts Central, a non-profit pharmacy that provides free medications to uninsured patients in the northern Virginia area.  He is also the founder and CEO of Urban Medical Solutions, a health consulting company which provides consultative services focusing on clinical workflow and technology integration.  Don holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from St. John’s University in Queens, New York, and has completed a pharmacy residency with Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.


Linda Abetz-Webb is the CEO of Patient-Centred Outcomes Assessment (P-COA). She has over 20 years of experience in developing, validating, and implementing clinical outcomes assessments (COA- patient, observer, and clinician reported). Linda has successfully utilized COAs to maximize market access and patient adherence. Her specific expertise is in pediatrics and/or rare diseases.

This blog posting was written by Meg Franklin, PharmD, PhD, Owner and President Franklin Pharmaceutical Consulting, LLC, on behalf of HealthEconomics.Com. Dr. Franklin may be reached at or

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