Today's medical professionals rely heavily on electronic health records systems and medical practice management software to keep up with the requirements of day-to-day operations and regulatory compliance. The demand for these tools has led to the development of a large and expanding industry. Grand View Research noted that the global EHR market was worth $20.55 billion in 2016 and projected that it would grow to $33.41 billion by 2025.
The prevalence of electronic recordkeeping systems as essential parts of healthcare opens up vast possibilities for life sciences organizations. There are great opportunities in the sales of the systems themselves, but exploring how physicians manage their vital data can also help in developing market segmentation for medical products. By understanding the full potential of EHR and PMS systems, marketing and sales teams can build wiser strategies driven by robust intelligence.
Marketing electronic systems to medical professionals
" Almost all U.S. acute care hospitals now own an EHR system."
As of 2016, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology reported that almost all U.S. acute care hospitals owned an EHR system, at 96 percent. Digital records have been widely embraced because they offer healthcare providers a variety of advantages over the traditional paper files. Physicians and other professionals are able to maintain high-quality, current information about their patients, allowing efficient care and more accurate diagnoses through quicker access to crucial details.
Government support has sped facilities toward electronic recordkeeping in the hopes of reducing administrative burdens, preventing errors, bolstering progress toward new treatments and achieving better patient outcomes. Federal agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have supported adoption by offering incentives to facilities and providers who enable greater interoperability. Across the Atlantic, the UK's National Health Service has made the switch to paperless operations a priority for the years ahead.
Meanwhile, many physicians' networks and private practices connect their electronic records systems to practice management software. By integrating and tracking functions like billing and scheduling, these organizations are able to operate more effectively and reduce the time spent on administrative tasks. That includes easily keeping all patient records in order, setting appointment schedules, completing insurance claims and sharing important findings through health information exchange systems.
Over recent years, a few major players have come to dominate the world of EHR, but there is still room in the market for innovative thinking and savvy sales strategy. According to Healthcare Informatics, the key to thriving in this space is meeting mounting demand for technological advancements and optimized performance. Systems must be highly accurate, interoperable, and ready to be easily deployed and updated over time.
How electronic records can lead to life sciences sales opportunities
Electronic records systems can be a valuable resource for businesses specializing in medical products. Of course, there are stringent regulatory and technical limitations on mining any data directly from an EHR. However, that doesn't mean life sciences companies cannot find valuable perspective by examining the de-identified research information that is available from third-party vendors.
As MM&M pointed out, organizations can synthesize what they gather from these EHR records with insurance claim information. That combination provides a sense for how physicians are using particular medical products and the results. This detailed perspective can give marketers and salespeople a clearer understanding of clinical outcomes and the competitive landscape guiding more effective delivery of tools and appealing content.
EHR systems may have a range of other uses for life sciences organizations, such as assisting in recruitment for clinical trials. FiercePharma reported on efforts to use the systems themselves as a means of communication. These interfaces provide a highly targeted way to engage physicians and notify them of educational opportunities about pharmaceuticals or treatments within the same system they use to create prescriptions.
Directing medical email marketing efforts more effectively
The widespread implementation of digital recordkeeping has revealed new paths toward sales for life sciences organizations. But even when they fully adopt more efficient processes, doctors still have limited time to learn about new products. Marketers must construct engagement efforts that encourage healthcare providers to carry on with the often complex purchase journey that leads to sales for pharmaceuticals and medical advances.
To leverage the latest advances in how healthcare providers store information and perform everyday workflows, marketing and sales teams must be equipped with robust business intelligence. Knowing how to create a powerful physician email marketing campaign and connect directly with doctors makes all the difference for fueling engagement.
Extensive segmentation starts with access to up-to-date details on medical providers. Businesses need current email addresses and institutional affiliations to direct messaging appropriately. When marketers and salespeople are aware of the demographics served by specific hospitals or doctors, they can tailor emails appropriately.
Still, garnering the greatest advantage out of the turn toward electronic recordkeeping calls for a deeper level of insight. The more that life sciences companies know about the conditions doctors treat and the products they use, the more effectively they can customize and direct messages. Tying treatment information from insurance claims to details drawn from EHR systems gives marketing a huge advantage.
Life sciences organizations should be alert for chances to draw on the shifts in everyday recordkeeping, diagnostics and prescriptions brought by EHR and PMS systems. By combining what they learn with a deep dive into relevant business intelligence, marketers and salespeople can communicate more reliably with medical professionals and offer product information in the most relevant ways.