The people who use our products are our primary stakeholders and central to our Purpose.
To ensure that we design a seamless user experience that anticipates and addresses the physical and emotional needs of the users of our products, it is critical that we listen to them.
We do this in a variety of ways, including through focus groups, anthropological studies, key opinion sessions, and surveys. We also engage with healthcare professionals including nurses and clinicians who select products for patients, and directly with our customers via our specialist customer service nurses and our home delivery businesses such as 180 Medical and Amcare. The feedback from all of these engagement channels is fed into our innovation process and is used to develop our new technologies and enhance our existing products. The expansion of our direct-to-consumer initiatives such as our me+™ programme is also helping strengthen our understanding of, and build our relationships with, our customers.
The detailed understanding of our customers’ needs helps ensure that our products remain at the leading edge of innovation, as demonstrated by our multi-award winning advanced wound care products. Some products, such as our fecal management systems, not only provide direct benefits to patients, but are also designed to help protect the broader patient community, and save healthcare budgets, by reducing the risk of infection in hospitals.
Developing safe products is critical, and our quality engineers work alongside our research and development teams to ensure we exceed stringent quality and regulatory requirements, and meet our responsibilities to users and customers. We operate extensive quality management system programmes focused not just on the efficacy of the products we supply, but also on the constituent materials, the manufacturing environment, and the supply chain that supports this.
Many people rely on our products every day. To ensure that their access to our products is not disrupted we adopt proactive business continuity planning which also helps reduce the risks to our commercial success.
The success of our approach has been recognised by our most important audience – the people who use our products. The 2016 Corporate Reputation of Medical Device Companies survey captured the views of 582 patient groups from around the world. Of the 33 companies ranked, we were rated the number one company overall and were placed top in three of the seven categories (patient safety, high quality products and transparency), and second in two others (patient centricity and provision of information to patients).