When employees take a job in the pharmaceutical industry, they take on all the stresses and challenges associated with working in healthcare. Whether employees are directly involved in providing care to patients at their sickest and most vulnerable, or supporting the systems and processes that provide care to these patients, pharmaceutical workers feel the full weight and responsibility of working in the healthcare field today. It’s a burden that gets harder and harder to bear. One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, 55% of healthcare workers said they feel burned out and 49% said they feel anxious, according to 2021 research from the Kaiser Family Foundation and Washington Post. In other words, employees across the healthcare industry need all the relief and support they can get.
Digital Transformation in the Pharmaceutical Industry
One of the most important, achievable ways pharmaceutical companies can ease the burden on their workforce is investing in digital transformation. When pharmaceutical companies streamline, modernize, and automate their systems and processes, they make underlying, permanent changes in how employees get work done. These changes ease and eliminate ubiquitous sources of pressure and stress on employees. Technology is, of course, not a cure-all for the stresses of working in the pharmaceutical industry. At the same time, the power of digital transformation is that friction, silos, and clumsy manual processes are replaced with sophisticated, elegant solutions. Moreover, digital transformation creates changes employees can see—changes that readily alleviate pain points employees may have long recognized as avoidable and unnecessary, but they had no way to fix on their own. Ultimately, employees credit their employer for using digital transformation to make a very tough, stressful job easier on them. Let’s explore five diverse ways digital transformation can reduce stress on pharmaceutical industry employees:
Digital Transformation Automates Previously Manual Processes
Working for a pharmaceutical company means strict adherence to a rigorous, wide-ranging set of policies, compliance obligations and other requirements. Indeed, every employee is responsible for guaranteeing safety, privacy and security of all company initiatives and data. In most pharmaceutical companies, employees spend copious time implementing multiple redundant quality-control measures and updating and managing exhaustive records. By contrast, through digital transformation, pharmaceutical companies gain access to the systems and workflows that enable manual processes to be streamlined and automated. Not only does automation ease the burden on employees who are accustomed to managing these day-to-day processes manually, but automation also promotes a much higher degree of consistency, quality control and standardization. As a result, employees are able to refocus their time and expertise on more engaging, higher-value work.
Digital Transformation Expands Self-Service Options
Like employees of other industries, pharmaceutical employees rely on their employer to provide a variety of services, from HR to IT to training and professional development. When employees reach out in most organizations, they don’t get resolutions quickly, and the information they receive is incorrect or incomplete—these experiences leave employees frustrated and searching for support through unofficial channels. By contrast, when organizations invest in digital transformation, they get the digital infrastructure and tools they need to build elegant, self-service options for providing support. These consumer-grade systems include searchable knowledge bases, self-initiating sequences of events, and self-service data processing apps. They enable employees to efficiently and reliably get their HR-related questions answered without the need to talk to an HR rep, initiate IT tickets that automatically get routed to the appropriate team and have personalized, relevant content served up to them based on factors such as location and job type.
Digital Transformation Enables Teams to Work Remotely on Personal Devices
Pharmaceutical employees are increasingly on call outside of business hours—responding to emails, meeting with people in different time zones, and handling emergencies. They also may be unable to physically work at their computer for an entire business day because they need to take care of children or other family members, even as they remain responsive to business needs during these times. For all of these cases, employees need to access work remotely on their phones, tablets and other personal devices. Pharmaceutical companies have tended to limit access—if they offered any at all—for security reasons, but by investing in digital transformation, companies no longer need to choose security over access. Digital transformation provides the infrastructure necessary for employees to access work remotely from their personal devices without compromising security. It’s a win-win scenario that ultimately makes employees more accessible, more responsive and more engaged in their work.
Digital Transformation Ensures Real-Time Access to Information from a Single Source of Truth
Pharmaceutical companies often fail to prioritize the accessibility of key data and information to employees. As a result, employees spend excessive time searching for and compiling the information they need. Meanwhile, when employees struggle to identify what sources contain the most up-to-date, relevant data, they waste time generating business insights that are often inaccurate, unreliable and duplicative of prior efforts. Digital transformation solves these challenges by establishing a single source of truth for all key data across the business ecosystem. Digital transformation also unifies systems so teams across different divisions of the company can readily access relevant data sources. With this cloud-based approach, teams can develop and track KPIs (key performance indicators) for their team and others, analyze and display data in real time, collaborate on projects and project management, and adeptly manage and oversee regulatory compliance issues, especially for clinical trials. The end result of digital transformation is employees have real-time access to information they already need—and assurances that it’s coming from an up-to-date, single source of truth.
Digital Transformation Automatically Routes Work to the Most Qualified People
When pharmaceutical employees need routine services and support—whether for HR or IT or DevOps or legal—they typically make their request and then hope it gets to the right teams and resolved in a timely fashion. This trepidation is understandable: A quick resolution often depends on whether the request was manually routed to someone with appropriate expertise and experience. Digital transformation takes the chance out of the equation. Instead of relying on service and support requests to get routed manually, digital transformation provides the infrastructure and AI to enable automatic, intelligent routing to personnel who are most qualified to handle the job. Not only does this approach end reliance on institutional knowledge of those who route these requests, it also imposes consistency, standardization, and speed in how work gets assigned and requests get resolved. These same systems also provide transparency and accountability into the status of requests for service and support.
Pharmaceutical employees have enough on their plates without having to worry about clunky manual processes that—to a workforce raised on Google and Amazon experiences—feel inefficient and outdated. Fortunately, digital transformation excels at eliminating these unnecessary sources of stress on employees. Through digital transformation, previously manual processes become automated, self-service options are expanded, teams are able to work remotely from their own personal devices, information comes from a single source of truth, and work automatically gets routed to the most qualified individuals.
Crossfuze Can Help
Crossfuze specializes in helping pharmaceutical companies reduce unnecessary sources of stress on their workforce through digital transformation. To learn more about how we can implement the ServiceNow platform to automate, streamline, and modernize your work processes, please reach out to Crossfuze today. We look forward to helping you rid your organization of frustration and other pain points that have been avoidable the whole time.