IN SUMMARY: The EHR market is still very fragmented as a single “user-friendly” vendor has not been able to lead the way. For pharma marketers, the promise of integrating patient-focused educational material is still the Holy Grail to reach patients at the point of care but will patients feel it crosses a line?
Patients feel that their medical records belong to them and want to be able to take them to any HCP they want. Physicians are still frustrated at the cost of EHR and the difficulty in teaching staff how to use them. The real opportunity however, is for pharma to reach patients based on test results and profiles but they have to be very careful.
A patient goes to his doctor for a physical and based on the results gets some health information on high cholesterol and ways to lose weight. Is this infringing on privacy? Not really because the pharma company providing the information doesn’t get any personal information on the patient. They just know that within a medical practice people who have high cholesterol are going to get a message about “the dangers of high cholesterol”. Is this reality? It depends.
Recent research from the KFF Health Tracking poll shows that people still trust pharma to develop life saving drugs. Pharma needs to build on that trust but it requires a transformation from being a salesman to being a helpful advisor. By integrating helpful health information in EHR’s pharma can deliver a relevant message to a very targeted audience. If they can convince HCP’s that delivering these messages actually provides better outcomes and gives patient good, credible. health information they will give the thumbs up especially if it makes patients more knowledgeable and helps control EHR costs.
Being an online health seeker is “buyer beware”. There is so much bad and inaccurate health information online that it’s starting to raise a lot of red flags from HCP’s who don’t have the time to explain to patients why the information they have is not accurate.
I would have thought that Apple or Google would have disrupted the EHR market by now but they haven’t. I think Amazon is leading the pack right now with recent hires and their pill packs but the EHR market is tough to crack.
Right now patients only use EHR’s to review their test results. This is a huge wasted opportunity. Pharma has a lot of health information resources including access to some of the best thought leaders in the world. It’s time to shift from mass marketing to targeted communication in a way that patients say “good information”