Our VP of Media Planning, Johanna Maulawin takes the myth and mystery out of EHRs by differentiating them from EMRs, describing top platforms and key vendors, and demonstrating proven strategies for making them effective for pharma marketers. Here are the top 3 things you should know...
1. EMR or EHR?
You’ve probably heard both. So, which terminology should you use?
Simplistically, EMRs are electronic medical records, meaning that it’s a platform that stores digitised versions of medical records. On the other hand, “Electronic health records are digital versions of a patient’s clinical data and the total health of each patient, facilitating the rapid searching, recall and e-sharing with other providers and medical applications.” They are designed to be accessed by everyone involved in a patient’s care, including the patient, which is the basis of Stage 1 meaningful use of EHRs. Hence, the preference of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC) preference for the term “EHR”.
2. By The Numbers
Not all companies that are often referred to as an EMR or EHR are either. The landscape is highly fragmented with 450+ EMRs, EHRs, ePrescribing platforms, aggregators and middleware with ePrescribers, aggregators and middleware integrating into EHRs.
According to Capterra, users, which include all healthcare professionals (HCPs), are concentrated to hospital-based EHRs such as eClinicalWorks and Epic who don’t allow for promotional messages inside their platform. In fact, there are only a handful of companies that allow promotional messages.
3. How do I choose which one?
Firstly, if you’re using click-through-rate (CTR) as your key metric of success, then EHRs are not your best bet. In fact, unless you’re testing creative messages, CTRs are not a good metric of success. But I digress.
Think of HCPs using EHRs, the mindset they’re in and you’ll know, most will not click on a promotional message which are generally in the form of banner ads. The whole idea of promotional messages in EHRs is to generate awareness of a brand, keep the brand top of mind so that when an HCP is at the decision-making process, your brand is part of their consideration set and ultimately in their choice set.
Many years ago, I used to do a 2-hour drive almost every Friday evening to a friend’s cottage in Prince Edward County. An hour into the drive and we’re into country road, traffic willing. Along the way are several billboards with the big yellow M, and about 15 minutes before our destination is the big yellow M restaurant itself. I must admit, I blame those darn billboards because I don’t think we ever drove passed it without stopping for a bite.
Using an awareness approach in EHRs to keep your brand top of mind can be an effective channel in not just generating awareness, but also changing script behavior to drive positive ROI.
Stay tuned for my next post: Things to Ask Yourself When Planning EHRs/EHR-partner Campaigns.