Last year, an executive at the American Academy of Family Physicians stated, “…most physicians have a hate-hate relationship with their EHR and view the systems as a burden on their practice of medicine.”

Just like ICD-10, EMRs aren’t optional anymore, and physicians spend more time than they’d like using them. As it stands now, they can’t see the forest for the trees. They grudgingly input data and complain that doing so diminishes the doctor-patient relationship because they spend so much time making eye contact with their computers. Updating EMRs feels like a chore with limited return on investment. What’s in it for them, and more importantly, what’s in it for their patients?

Whether EMRs have made healthcare better, safer or more efficient, as the Institute of Medicine predicted more than 20 years ago, is hotly debated. One thing that is certain is that nearly every healthcare provider (HCP) who comes in contact with an EMR system complains about being required to use it. How can pharma help take the sting out of using EMRs? How can we add value to the process?

Pharma’s typical approach to a new channel is to view it as a new way to “deliver messages to a target audience.” But Intouch maintains pharma should turn that idea on its head. Perhaps, instead of a marketing channel, EMRs should be seen as a value delivery system. By providing useful tools to HCPs, including tools that improve the lives of their patients, maybe we can help them hate their EMRs a little less.

Tools They Can Use
Instead of seeing EMR systems as a way to promote a drug, pharma can use them to share services and products that help patients achieve goals and improve the doctor-patient relationship. These could include, for example:

To learn more about how pharma marketers can make EMRs palatable (and valuable!) to HCPs, read what Intouch’s own Gabriel Cangiano, director of HCP and payer strategies, has to say on this important topic via PharmaLive.