Join Damon Basch, Veradigm’s VP of strategic partnerships, as we explore how a well-conceived omnichannel strategy can face unexpected challenges at the crucial moment of care. We discuss the intricacies of decision-making at the point-of-care (POC) where seconds define success. We examine the pivotal role of electronic health record (EHR) platforms, the significance of understanding HCPs’ clinical workflow, and strategies to ensure that your brand not only survives but thrives in the moments that matter most.
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What are they writing who are they treating? How are they treating all the identified of course and other data points to help you understand? This is what good looks like in verdimes ehr specifically based upon the patterns of our provider clients that level of kind of bespoke marketing support is really the secret sauce of what makes ehr so special in such a great conversion channel.
Hi, this is Marc Iskowitz that are large for mmm and I’m super excited to be part of this sponsored podcast with Veradigm. It’s called beyond the blink mastering ehr and poc in omni channel Healthcare marketing and last year is Healthcare marketing survey MM+M saw an uptick in point of care marketing budgets as well as it percent increase in those who said they’re using the point of care channel despite an overall 8% decrease in farmers. Overall promotional outlays those results suggest the durability of this channel at a time when budgets are being questioned and while we haven’t seen a major rebound materialize in Pharma marketing spend just yet the point of care. Channel is expected to remain at budgetary staple perhaps even gaining a bigger share of the media plan that’s because of the pivotal role of electronic health record platforms in reaching doctors at the moment of prescribing but as marketers look to integrate ehr into the median mix with TV and other channels pitfalls can occur my guests Damon Basch, Veradigm’s VP of strategic partnerships is going to run through strategy.
Is to ensure that your brand only survives but thrives in the Moments that matter most?
Damon how are you and welcome back to the MM+M Podcast I am doing very well Marc is the pleasure to sit down and chat with you absolutely welcome welcome okay, so let’s just get into it here. You can talk about some some ways that a point of care strategies can go sideways at times describe some of those typical scenarios. You know where despite having a well planned omni channel strategy things may go a miss or a Rise I should say well. It’s a really interesting time to have this conversation work because just like every other omni channel partner out there. We are on the other side of rfp season, so we’ve filled out hundreds of rfps from all sorts of different brands and through that process you begin to see some of the commonalities about the ways that agencies Pharma and brands are approaching on the channel and specifically poc and obviously a lot of it revolves around the npi call it npi balls and if you’re trying to normalize.
An omni channel plan you try throughout from top of Funnel to bottom to reach as many of those Physicians of importance as efficiently as possible and a lot of what happens is people try and pushpoint of care or push ehr into that kind of harmonized or normalized model how many npis and how officially can I reach them without necessarily understanding exactly what happens in the ehr and how quickly everything accelerates to that moment of prescription everything moves a little slow at the top when you’re starting with streaming or connected TV and other broad reach channels, which are meant to be efficient and broad reach but as you start to get closer and closer to that encounter to the prescription things start to happen really really fast and so a lot of what I want to talk about is some of the ways those things do Accelerate than some of the actual clinical workflow occurrences that happen.
Those 30 seconds to two minutes that it might take for a physician to make a prescribing decision and to actually prescribe if physician can actually write a prescription in three clicks work. They can select a patient they can select a medication. They can send it to pharmacy now in reality it usually takes a few more clicks it can take us a little as 10 seconds, but in reality it sometimes takes two minutes or more, but there’s so much friction going on between the initiation of that process and when that prescription gets sent to the pharmacy and so an entire years worth of planning an entire years worth of budgeting comes down to that crucial. Let’s call it 10 seconds to two minutes and if you don’t understand what’s occurring with in that time period everything you’ve spent all of your best planning all of those processes work. That’s what can go sideways super super quick and so we’re going to nerd out a little bit on ehr.
This conversation so I hope you’re ready for that, but what I wanted to do is kind of expose. What some of those workflows look like so that on the channel people can think about that a little bit think about ehr a little bit differently but also get the best possible outcome at that part of the overall omni channel equation so that was a little bit loquacious, but that’s kind of what I’m driving towards today. Yeah, that’s really fascinating it makes perfect sense Damon thanks for the setup. I was wondering maybe we could take a step back because you mentioned that it is rfp season, how our brands and Pharma kind of approaching the point of care channel you see like a difference in the way. They’re approaching it fundamentally for 2024 well. I’m definitely seeing more programmatic out there budgets are definitely shifting towards programmatic activation. I think that’s a good thing. I think there are more ways to in real time affect a strategy and also get data back to tell you of what you’re doing as the right way to do.
We’re in a position where we’re offering to partners who were interested in programmatic activation the ability to do so but in point of care. There’s very much a bespoke nature to it as well and so what I’m seeing from the best marketers is a blend so they’re reaching in the endemic point of care category programmatically but then when they’re really trying to get specific to a certain set of patient-centric data or a certain practice type or specific encounter. They’re coming to us and saying we’re going to do our programmatic by but we’re also going to work directly with you for a bespoke strategy which is really out of respect for the fact that there is so much going on within that 12 minutes on average that a physicianist with the patient in an ehr and again those 10 seconds to two minutes where they’re actually making a prescribing decision and sending it so that’s really the trend. I’m seeing is that kind of hybridization. We’re getting asked a lot of questions about AI which is a whole other podcast.
That we can talk about when the time is right, but those are the shifts that we’re seeing and to your point about the stats we’re seeing an increase in a number of brands that are interested in ehr some of that is a comfortability within mlr and within legal and understanding point of care in general and understanding ehr and how best to operate in that environment some of it is the understanding that it truly is the conversion channel for any omni channel plan and excluding ehr from your overall plan is feeding the top but not the bottom and so we’re seeing an increase in the number of Brands across the board that are asking us for help and obviously we’re thrilled to be able to be there for that nice to hear that that your pipeline is is filling up. That’s that’s a really good metric and an important one right for a company like yours in this sort of environment and we know that there’s many different ehr systems and you know when I hear you talk about those.
Crucial you know 12 seconds you know or the 12 minutes you know in a physician is with a patient. Is there a lot of their ability there and I know there’s there’s a you know one or two large vendors that we hear a lot as medicine becomes increasingly institutionalized a lot of them. Are you know seemed to be you know standardizing on this one large vendor which requires a lot of additional clicking through you said you know provider can do it in as little as three clicks, but there’s oftentimes a lot more that has to be completed within the ehr in order to just kind of complete the encounter is there is that how does that affect things you know the difference in the and the variability the heterogeneity of the ehr systems market all ehrs. Have some fundamental clinical workflows that are the same no matter who the software provider is there’s a different user experience those are different level of quality and then there are different applications some are large health system platforms, which are really highly bespoke program.
Solutions for that specific health system and all the different specialty areas within it and some are more focused like verodynam is on the ambulatory environment. These are clinics where patients are walking in and walking out and they’re seeing Primary Care doctors and specialists who focus on a clinic-based environment, but the e prescribing workflow the documentation of a diagnosis some of the clinical intervention tools. They are all variations on a theme one big difference for the purposes of an omni channel conversation is that these large hospital health system applications don’t accept advertising there may be a specific instance or health system where there’s a limited opportunity to communicate with Physicians but it’s not natively integrated into these large hospital-based systems and so that’s a big difference because it’s much harder to get there as a marketer than it would be for verradine where we built our Solutions ground up with the ability to appropriately message positions in a completely hippop compliant way so
It’s challenging once you go to those top players to get any meaningful on the channel presence there, but I also want to get back to the very first question that you asked me which is really to kind of get into the weeds to figure out where things go sideways, because I don’t think we quite went as deep there as we need to understand what’s going on for a physician so picture this for a minute picture Mark is going to see your Primary Care physician before you’ve walked in the door most dhrs. Have already done a benefits investigation so we know who you’re carrier is we know if you have government coverage or commercial coverage. We know that coverage is we know what your chief complaint is so you walk in with the physician and you go through that initial presentation you talk about your complaint of the doctors taking the free notes the soap notes in there subjective objective assessment and plan that you see them typing away on their ehr and they’re moving their way through differential diagnosis to diagnosis and ultimately if required a prescription.
So they ventured that prescription process and here’s where on the channel marketers who don’t know ehr don’t understand exactly what’s happening so once that prescription process starts. We’ve contacted your carrier to understand if that brand is covered or not and that gets Returned in sub-seconds, and then that payer will tell us what the actual cost for that brand is whether or not it requires a prior authorization and potentially therapeutical alternatives if it’s a generic. That’s available or if it’s in the same class or drugs, but it’s less expensive they’ll tell you what cash pricing is they’ll tell you what pharmacy pricing is and so a physician who is writing a prescription from Mark may start with one medication in mind that they think is appropriate but between the initiation of that process and when it gets sent to the pharmacy their minds may be changed multiple times. They may find a drug that doesn’t require a prior authorization or one.
That is same in class and just as effective but cost less money or one that’s approved for a 90-day supply instead of a 30-day supply or they may override what they’re writing so it’s not switched out at pharmacy by clicking something like dispense as written or brand medically necessary. So why do I share all of this? I just share with you five six seven eight different things that happen in seconds when a physician is writing a prescription and if your marketing in that environment you need to know how to make sure that the physician has the tools and the information to make those decisions in that moment and that’s a conversation. It’s a little bit more of a sophisticated and targeted approached on the channel as opposed to building awareness as we know at the top of the funnel building awareness and as you bring them close to that moment of care. You’re driving interest you’re driving engagement and then you’re driving the actual conversion and that conversion a lot of other things are telling you don’t convert don’t.
Try this instead and you can’t control those things but you can control how you educate the physician and support of your brand absolutely you can’t control what you know things are going to pop up you know prior authorization required or as you said a 30-day versus a 90-day supply or price but you can control as you say what you can control and that’s how you market and giving Physicians that the tools and information that they need at that moment of conversion right. Yeah, I mean a couple of examples tier status we have ehr is an ideal environment to either make sure that Physicians understand that for a patient. They’re treating that tear status is strong and that the pricing will be good if it’s not then that’s when copay and coupons starts to come into the equation for cause parity. That’s one example. I mentioned dispens is written or brand medically necessary. That’s another one if it’s a competitive class of drugs. It’s up to the physician to decide if these specific brand that.
Writing is the one that has to be filled otherwise a pharmacist will look for something that is comparable and cost less so those are just two examples, but there are numerous examples where we need to think about ehr a little bit differently do you talk about tier status when a physician is watching connected TV probably not you’re talking about the brand so that the name of the brand the indication of the Brand and the happy people who are living well in the brand are all starting to generate awareness in your mind quite different than when you’re in a clinical platform and so those differences are something that require more conversation between the partners out there who have ehr and on the channel is trying to make sure they have the right presence there. So you’re saying like even though point of care is fundamentally a kind of bottom of the funnel type of a tactic you you switch up. You know your messaging a little bit depending on whether you’re operating at the top or the bottom of the funnel. You know if you’re on CTV you’re not going to be talking about tier status or are those kind of minutia.
Type things I think that’s absolutely correct point of care in general requires a specific type of messaging that is vastly different from social media that is different from endemic journals. That is different from non-endemic environments like television an outdoor and other areas like that. There’s a reticence sometimes on the part of marketers to really focus on it that way because sometimes creating new assets can be a challenge sometimes getting new creative assets approve through mlr. Can be a challenge but if you’re going to play in the space and you need to play in that space, then you need to think strategically about your content your messaging but again what the actual clinical workflow looks like what’s going on when a physician is administering to their practice and they’re not with a patient and when they’re in a clinical counter and they’re actually looking at a patient the more you understand that the more effective you can be with your strategy and you can’t just necessarily look at that environment as how many npi balls and what’s a CPM
You need to think about what’s the environment and how can I make sure that I pull through and I don’t get disintermediated because of what this clinical workflow looks like right preventing this intermediation is very important and as you mentioned earlier. You know you’re seeing ehr get integrated more in programmatic. Which is something when you and I spoke last that the mmm trend talks last November 16 that was one of the points of discussion was that you know the HR is moving toward this integration you know more with programmatic and therefore more in the Omni channel marketing plan is that kind of where you know choosing the right point of care Media provider really can help. You know make sure that the brands influence stays true as ehr scales up into this broader media plan. Yeah. I think that’s a great question because when you start looking at programmatic and you start looking at networks which you tend to lose is visibility into the specific platform that your message is being delivered through.
Um you know there is a big difference between connected app with a small number of users that may not have the resources for the right privacy or the right data protection may not even have the data rights necessary to ensure that your messages in a safe place and so you know as you look to aggregation and networks and programmatic one thing you do need to be aware of is that clinical software is different than non-endemic Media or even some endemic media and the environment the platform matters. You don’t want your brand to be presented in a platform that has a bad user experience that doesn’t handle messaging in a way that is not disrupted to the physician and their workflow. We don’t want to see NASCAR messaging all over the clinical platform whatever it is. They’re using.
There’s a lot more that goes into making sure that the messaging is complementary to the clinical errand of the physician or to their practice or to their specialty and that everything is protected and everything is done in the right way, and I think as you start to step away from you know bespoke modeling platform by platform and you look programmatically or you look in the network fashion you have to really uncover and ask questions about who are the underlying clinical software providers that are rendering this Media what do we know about them? Are we sure that the privacy is in place the data rights are in place the data security is in place and that the messaging is delivered at an appropriate frequency and inappropriate place in the workflow that respects the clinical experience of the provider if that is not the case then that will negatively reflect upon your Brand and so that’s why I talk about brand equity and being clear on the platform that your Media is being delivered.
I think it’s critically important. Yeah, it’s kind of like brand safety and the clinical environment right which is something we don’t necessarily hear about it’s really fascinating. You know sort of topic brand safety for sure and brand equity again if a physician has an experience with the platform where everywhere they go. They’re seeing this one brand again and again and it has nothing to do with who they are what they’re doing who their treating that is not a good look for your Brand and I think the specificity of working in a platform where you can use the data to make sure that you’re delivering the right message in the best possible way, you know that’s important. You know we cap frequencies. We make sure we’re using the data to be very specifically targeted and frankly you see better performance because of that as well, but what you can’t measure again. Is that brand equity the fact that the physician sees the brand as one that is trying to be there for the right reasons and that has a right to be in the room at that time and
How you build brand? You know you don’t measure that necessarily with an Roi although we do that as well, but it’s something that needs to be thought about and point of care because there are a lot of folks jumping into point of care right now because of the stats that you use there’s more spend. It’s more stable and growing spend is more interested awareness about point of care as a result you have a lot of companies who are starting to build point of care into their networks necessarily without understanding the clinical software or the needs of the physician along the way and that’s something that we to verit I’m take with paramount appointments because we are the software provider. They use our clinical tools for ehr practice management revenue cycle management and so many other reasons patient portals and so that’s our first customer and you want to work with platforms where the provider is the first customer very important. Yeah, I mean I use the term brand safety because you were talking about you know you don’t you want to sort of be aware of what other brands are computing for that real estate you know in the year.
Is being judged as posed against but it’s not quite the same you know I see it’s more of a brand equity sort of a discussion rather than a brand safety per se because in the clinical environment you know it’s it’s a little different but you know you talk about the need to sort of be aware of the underlying clinical software provider and making sure that all these brand equity points are in place and and as you put it that respects the clinics clinicians experience and it doesn’t negatively reflect on the Brand and that’s why it’s important. It seems to you know have a direct relationship with it with a with a point of care Media provider you know to sort of ensure that all that takes place and you’re really what you’re doing is you’re you’re making sure that the brand views the Physicians not merely as an npi target. You know as you put it but really understands and addresses there with their real world clinical experiences and needs. What are some of the other considerations there to make sure that brands don’t lose sight of that this isn’t just a number. This is a person that you’re trying to.
To you know make sure you engage with well. I think look it’s challenging for marketers and agencies their agencies to kind of look at point of care and do everything in a bespoke fashion. However, you asked about trends earlier on you know all major agencies that we work with now have pointed care centers of excellence and I think that’s the most important first step you know the agencies that are planning for point of care the brand teams planning for point of care. They need to have centers of excellence who can help them Polish refine their point of care and their ehr strategies and encouragingly. I’m seeing more and more and more of that where we get called in to educate and you know we’re not talking about work with us here. We’re saying this is ehr this is what it looks like. This is how it’s used and so I think the first step is to reinforce the fact that the centers of excellence are a good thing there are necess.
Everything and that there’s a lot of value on the back end that comes out of using that resource the right way and the good partners want to educate as much as they can so that’s really the trick here is to make sure that you don’t go and end with the plan using npi balls and cost efficiency as the end-all Beal all the way top of Funnel to the bottom you got to take a breath take a step and when you’re in point of care say how can we use this channel appropriately and put a little bit more time a little bit more energy into understanding the physician experience so that we can optimize the outcome for this brand and it’s marketing approach and that’s it. That’s a good segue to the next question here is you know as they take that step and they take that breath and they look back and this how we make sure that we’re using this channel appropriately. How can they prepare for and react to the situations where their products maybe at a disadvantaged due to benefits verification outcomes or the presence of therapeutic altern?
Of in the ehr system well, so a lot of this comes down to cost obviously if you know you have good coverage. Make sure it’s known and if you don’t make sure that you’re offering patient savings programs and other resources, so that there’s either price parody or the outcome is worth the brand medically necessary or dispens is written. There’s a specific reason why your brand is the right brand despite any matters related to cost or anything else and if you understand that then the messaging can certainly support that and we can make sure that you’re injected in the right points and that workflow so that those messages are delivered what it matters most here. It goes price really is increasingly you know more of a factor for Physicians even though some of them probably might not want to get involved in that neck of the woods. They want to stay to what they feel as therapeutically the most appropriate treatment they have to sort of come to grips with the fact that there’s a lot of disruptions as you put it between them and getting.
That prescriptions so they kind of do have to be aware of these other factors you think about the fact that part of it is making it easy for them to see the pricing if it’s not in front of them, then they’re not going to dig for it, but here’s the other part Physicians are moving towards value-based care models period so we’re looking at their population of patients and we’re looking at population level health and so if their patients are routinely not getting their prescriptions not taking their medications not refilling their medications and if they’re values are not improving and if they’re outcomes are not improving at the population level there’s a material economic impact to the physician, so that’s another trend. That is really important to understand and that Physicians are becoming innately more aware of cost. They have to because cost relates to adherence relates to outcomes relates to value-based care models, so all of that is coming together and the technology is meeting them where they live in order to make it a little bit easier for.
That’s a great point Damon in terms of the triple aim. You know better Healthcare that’s more affordable more efficient and better quality, so they have to be innately more aware of the costs of things if they want to operate within that population based health environment as you put it are you seeing you know kind of related question you talk about connecting patients to coordinating care. Are you seeing the modeling where we’re social determinants have health comes in to greater Focus where some of the systems at the ehr level are making it possible to put it plug-in apis into the ehr so that doctors or clinicians can actually prescribe support services as if they would have prescribed medications whether it might be counseling social services things that here 24 had not been so easily you know connectable in an ehr you sinks sdoh. Kind of become more of a presence in the ehr well. I think the sources and the scope of the social determinants of health sd-oh data.
Is becoming much much stronger and also data companies like varadine for example are getting much better at integrating that data into other data assets mortality data claims data registry data ehr data all of that is being harmonized and used to understand patient populations and to drive better outcome. So we’re absolutely seeing more of that. I personally have not seen specific interventions based upon sdoh data come into play yet, but I can certainly see a world where it does a lot of that data is on structured it needs to be structured in a way where it can be used for that sort of outcome, but what I am seeing is frustration and progress around getting patients connected to services hub services for example where everything that you described lives, so you know a call center is the starting point to get a patient enrollment to get all the consent and signatures and then get them connected to.
Services and care coordination financial resources for specific interventions that are related to sdoh inputs and that’s where all that data is collected and used on the HUD side. I think a natural progression would be you start to see in the ehr more messaging of support around those sorts of things but I think it’s a little bit early days on that Mark sure yeah, I just remembering a couple of years ago one big deal with one of these providers of sdoh plugins, but I guess it has a really taken off in any great way share perform as we move toward. You know wrapping up this discussion which has been fascinating. Can you kind of reiterate you know for us? You know what strategies marketers can employ Damon to ensure that their brand remains that prefer choice even when https or are making patient level decisions and they made there. May be some disintermediary kind of variables that kind of make it in the way I think the it’s incumbent upon point of care providers to.
You and inform an arm om omni-channel marketers with our data, so that’s good decisions can be made come to me and we’ll tell you what the clinical behaviors are of our practices and our Physicians what are they writing? Who are they treating? How are they treating all the identified of course and other data points to help you understand. This is what good looks like in veradymes ehr specifically based upon the patterns of our provider clients that level of kind of bespoke marketing support is really the secret sauce of what makes ehr so special in such a great conversion Channel now you need to marry that with kind of the Zeitgeist of the industry moving towards problematic and you know buying broad efficiently and leveraging data and real time to measure performance and look at NEXT best action all of that is fantastic and should be done but it needs to be complemented by that Direct bespoke model that only comes from.
Conversation with a vendor partner who can give you the data necessary to be a smart marketer well said well wrapped up there Damon and so we hope everybody out there that you’ve enjoyed you know this discussion on deeper ideas of how the point of care channel can go sideways in the ehr as well as the comments about the quality of environment the importance of the clinical software environment. You know there’s a lot of aggregators and networks out there. So how does a brand you know maintain its equity especially as it scales up and into a nominee channel environments and so being in dhr expert would hope that Damon’s shining a light on this area has proven as an interesting to you as it has to me to that end those who have any questions can email him with their ehr integration questions or contacts, Damon through mmm and you know as pointing care channel becomes yet more of a staple in programmatic and I’m in channel marketing Damon I hope that we?
Have another one of these conversations down the road. I would love to do it anytime Mark thank you. It’s a pleasure.