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EHRs perceived as marketing channel for pharma – NEJM


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An opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine by three doctors provides the HCP’s perspective on pharma-sponsored content in hospital EHR systems. It’s not positive.

Some of their concern lies with how, and if, professionals perceive this outreach as marketing or assistance. Using eCoupons as an example, they note that doctors may consider this a financial management tool “rather than marketing.” They are also concerned that the seamless integration of medical information and marketing will make parsing the two increasingly difficult.

The fact that physicians are beginning to question the information being provided in the EHRs may be cause for concern that restrictions may tighten.

However, before overreacting to an opinion piece note that these three doctors may be thin-skinned when it comes to promotion, they consider it a victory to “keep marketing out of patient visits–as they did with free pens and other traditional marketing tools.” Most doctors don’t consider a free pen as particularly persuasive, so the majority of them may not mind the industry information in their EHR systems, especially if it helps them.


Mark Bard from Digital Insights Group wrote a piece, published on his LinkedIn blog, that looks at this paper in depth. In particular, Bard looks at:

Source: MM&M

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