How does London IVF and Genetics Centre address common fertility concerns?
Patients have commonly expressed a range of concerns that may affect them when going through the treatment, whether they are
- Starting the treatment,
- Already in the midst of the journey, or
- They’re coming towards the end of the treatment.
A majority of these concerns are around of the issues such as the consistency and clarity of the information that has been shared with them. Whether it is related to the clinical aspects, newer interventions, the care that they get when going through treatment, or treatment costs. I think these are a range of the issues that they experience.
Some of them may also feel that the lack of continuity of care leads to numerous communication gaps and conflicting information. As a matter of fact it might be the same information being conveyed differently by different people at the clinic.
What I would say in my view is the primary challenge that the fertility industry is facing is the communication of information to the patient and being sensitive to the patient needs. The communication to me boils down to three main groups and one of them is the clinical information.
Therefore, it is important that we have more clarity on publishing the success rates, the time period these success rates are being published. What is the denominator we are using the for the success rate, whether it being clinical success rate or live birth rate?
We should discourage setting league tables which many clinics do, because they are not liked by comparison and given the amount of the information that the patients have to assimilate, they might not be able to make the best informed decision for themselves. Going on to this point itself, is that we have to be realistic in communicating and setting patient expectations. This again leads from the clinical aspects but also involves other aspects such as clarity of the costs. There is a huge fragmentation with regards to the cost that patients are being charged. Upfront, some patients may be aware of certain costs. Equally, when patients are comparing clinics, it might be the basic IVF package cost.
What they lack clarity in is what is being included and what has being excluded, and the extra cost that we have to bear. This lack of clarity of information might lead them to choose clinics which they initially thought maybe more cost effective options but not might be. That is where I feel expectation setting is helping patients make better-informed decisions.
This leads me to the third point, which is introducing more transparency both in clinical information and the treatment prices.
Coming on to the second point of the sensitivity of the patient needs, I think we are in an in an age where women do wish to manage or balance both their professional and personal priorities. I believe it is a responsibility of the clinics where they’re going for treatment, to help them do so by providing more choices, convenience, and flexibility so that they can they can continue with both.
Regarding London IVF and Genetic Centre, we have been established keeping these few things in mind. Here we provided continuity of care, so they see the same clinician or consultant all the way through the treatment right from the beginning of the journey through the journey until the end. Any communication addresses or patient concerns are addressed in real time, so there is no translation of information, so therefore it makes for a better patient experience.
By giving a range of appointments from early evening, weekend appointments, exclusive appointments, and even an option of out-of-hours monitoring appointments, we are helping our patients achieve that balance which is so widely needed these days.
These are some of the aspects that we take care of when we want to address some of the challenges that are burning out there for the fertility industry.