Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2011 - (Page 14)

Brand Marketing Communications Get Ready for EHRs as the Essential Communications Platform for Pharma < continued from page 1 Roughly one-third of U.S. physicians now use an EHR and over one-third (almost 200,000) now ePrescribe. [1] Over half of physicians will be using an EHR within 18 months according to both federal government estimates and PDR Network annual survey of physicians. Adopting an EHR means ~$44K (or more) per physician in direct cash pay- They are redefining the playing field for physician communication. Of particular note is the impact on pharma of e-prescribing, which is required to obtain federal funding for EHR adoption. e-Prescribing puts a myriad of services at the prescriber’s fingertips that can hurt brand teams (e.g., strict formulary compli- our pharma partners and other groups including medical societies, professional liability carriers and the FDA to ensure that all relevant and drug-specific regulatory and product support services are integrated into EHRs and available to physicians at the point of care with a click. The work is challenging but rewarding; and the EHR and pharma markets have responded with great enthusiasm. Mobile Support Services Also of note is the impact of EHR adoption on mobile use. Many physicians have joined At PDR Network, while we will continue to provide content via our mobile platform, we are increasingly focusing on EHRs as THE platform for engaging physicians at their practices and in their workflows. ments from the feds. Failure to adopt means cuts to Medicare reimbursement; even docs can handle that type of accounting! And importantly, funding for EHR adoption is not tied to the national healthcare legislation and enjoys bipartisan support. The dollars are real, and not going away. Note that simply purchasing an EHR does not qualify a physician or hospital for federal dollars. Providers must “Meaningfully Use” an EHR to qualify for funding and avoid Medicare penalties. The feds have compiled a detailed list of EHR-related activities that providers must follow to fulfill Meaningful Use. Important for pharma is the fact that Meaningful Use requirements are broad, cover most of physician activities, documentation and medical records components, and include e-prescribing and an electronic connection to patients. MD Workflow: Chat, Chart and Charge A quick look at physician workflow changes associated with EHR adoption provides a clearer view of the opportunity for pharma. Physicians make a living by repeating three important steps: interviewing and examining patients (Chat), recording notes and diagnostic information regarding the patient (Chart) and filling out the charge capture forms that include CPT and ICD9 codes (Charge). In a paper-based office, two of these three steps involve paper and forms. Adopt an EHR and suddenly Chart and Charge—steps critical to physician income—move to a digital platform where other information can (and should) be a click away. Looking at this workflow using the lens of a pharmaceutical manufacturer, a paperbased practice offers few options to accomplish the holy grail of pharma—getting integrated into doctor workflow. In short, paper charting, charging and prescribing offer pharma little opportunity for workflow engagement. EHRs open a new and more powerful venue for appropriate and convenient physician engagement in workflow. 14 May | June 2011 increasingly focusing on EHRs as the platform for engaging physicians at their practices and in their workflows. The PDR Network survey of physicians also showed that most physicians were aware of online drug-support services available at pharma provider portals but that they rarely used these portals. These services include drug-specific patient education materials, patient financial assistance, peer-reviewed articles, relevant Alerts and REMS. But these portals are often long on programming but short on viewers. On the other hand, over half of physician respondents indicated that they would access these drug support services, and would find them “valuable” or “very valuable” if they were integrated into their EHR. The message to pharma is clear: Integrate regulatory and marketing services into EHRs and thereby into physician workflow if you wish to be physician-relevant. And consider expanding ROI from past investments in ance, pre-auth form requirements) or help (rapid access to patient education, financial assistance or adherence programs). When physicians, like other consumers, see the kind of customized linking, anticipating and prompting offered by free online services such as Amazon or Orbitz, they expect a the Apple iPad/Pod/Phone craze and others have gone the Droid or Berry route. But mobile screens that once hosted standalone drug or clinical apps increasingly now display EHRs. The PDR Network survey found that one-third of EHR users could already access their EHR via their mobile device and the vast What Pharma Should Do Now Important steps that pharma regulatory and marketing executives should consider are as follows: 1. 2. Understand the forces driving EHR adoption by U.S. prescribers Understand the current status and trends of EHR adoption by prescribers of interest based upon specialty, practice location, inpatient vs. outpatient, etc. Understand the changes to physician workflow represented by EHR adoption and the resultant opportunities to provide physicians with the regulatory or marketing services that physicians and patient value, at the point of care 3. 4. 5. similar experience from their EHRs; often they are disappointed. PDR Network recently conducted a survey of providers (including over 100,000 physicians), as well as EHR vendors and pharma manufacturers. [2] The majority of respondents found “valuable” or “very valuable” access to drug-specific content integrated into their EHRs such as patient education materials, relevant Alerts or REMS, coupons or copay programs, pre-auth forms, peer-reviewed articles and the like. This survey and related focus groups show that physicians not only value these services; they expect them. At PDR Network, we are working with EHR vendors, majority expects to use mobile to access their EHR soon. This maps well with the EHR vendors who responded to the 2011 PDR Network survey. These vendors indicated they currently offer mobile access to their EHRs or will within the next 12 months. 60% of physicians surveyed use standalone mobile apps less, or not at all, once they begin accessing their EHR via mobile, because their EHR contains the drug and clinical information they once accessed via standalone mobile apps: “Why visit the cow when the milk is in the fridge?” At PDR Network, while we will continue to provide content via our mobile platforms, we are Create a list of regulatory or marketing goals that can be advanced via integration with EHRs – including FDA directives and mandates such as REMS communications Consider a strategy to drive traffic from EHRs to pharma provider portals. Federal funding will drive EHR penetration from one-third of physicians to two-thirds or more in the next few years. Pharma has devoted enormous resources trying to drive prescribers to manufacturer portals—with little to show for it—and EHRs present a golden opportunity for pharma to provide valuable drug support resources within prescriber workflow.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2011

Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2011
Table of Contents
Top News
Business / Finance
Brand Communications
Supply Chain / Logistics
Information Technology
Legal/ Regulatory
Executive Development
Meetings and Editorial Index

Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2011