Written By: Cheryl Reifsnyder, PhD
Today’s biopharmaceutical marketing environment is undergoing major changes. Historically, biopharma has relied heavily on in-person customer engagement; however, the number of in-person meetings between physicians and sales representatives has decreased significantly in recent years. In a recent survey of leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry, 63% said in-person sales rep access to physicians was near zero during the pandemic. Ninety-five percent of contact with healthcare providers now occurs via virtual channels.
At the same time, healthcare is shifting to a greater focus on value-based care. This has led to an increased desire for value in biopharma communications—where value might mean communications leading to greater cost efficiency, improved patient outcomes, or simply a contribution to the overall healthcare experience.
Biopharmaceutical companies can benefit from shifting communication efforts away from traditional marketing methods to give providers, payers, and patients the value they are asking for. In this article, we will examine four ways to bring value to healthcare providers (HCPs) with promotional messaging.
The changing healthcare landscape
In the past decade, electronic health records (EHRs) have made huge changes for HCPs, completely altering workflows, clinical and administrative tasks, and patient interactions. Eighty-six percent of office-based physicians currently use EHRs in their day-to-day practice, and according to a study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, today’s providers spend an average of about 16 minutes per patient using their EHR. If the average HCP sees about 20 patients per day, they are spending about 320 minutes, or nearly 5.5 hours, using their EHR daily.
This provides a valuable opportunity for biopharmaceutical companies to communicate with physicians of interest at the point-of-care. The EHR has become an important method of delivering personalized, targeted messages to HCPs in real time. It’s also a preferred method of communication for many HCPs: according to a recent survey, 78% of providers prefer to receive product updates from biopharmaceutical and healthcare companies via their EHRs.
Many biopharmaceutical companies use this opportunity simply to repurpose banner ads from other digital channels. However, EHRs are not websites. Treat them as such, and you are missing a huge opportunity for engaging providers.
Point-of-Care messaging that informs and supports
One important tool to give providers is an easy-to-use means of contacting their biopharma representative. Healthcare providers are looking for tools to support the use of different drug products will be available through the EHR—including access to biopharma in case they have questions.
Professional information and resources
Another way point-of-care messaging can support physicians is by providing information and resources that can help in day-to-day practice. For instance, you might supply easy-to-use drug and prescribing information, including new “now approved for” indications and highlights of common medication side effects, or formulary updates to help physicians understand which medications are covered through their patients’ health insurance.
Clinical trial information is another topic of interest. This is most effective if you present “Fast Facts” about relevant clinical trial results rather than sharing the full trial details. Keep the message clear and simple, so physicians can understand easily and quickly. In another study, 76% of doctors surveyed said they preferred simple language in advertising, while 51% admitted to not always understanding what is being communicated in biopharma advertising.
Clinical trial recruitment opportunities, and how to access them, are another topic of interest to providers, as this information can help them do a better job caring their patients.
Another means of supporting physicians is through information and resources to support their practice. For instance, you might provide an easy-access avenue for ordering drug samples. Biopharma brands could leverage point-of-care messaging to point HCPs toward any supply chain solutions that they provide.
Patient support resources
Physicians are particularly interested in information that can help them help their patients. One avenue for doing so is by offering easy access to patient coupons and other financial support. According to one survey, physicians in the U.S. found information on affordability programs offered by biopharmaceutical programs especially helpful.
Another area of interest to physicians (65% of those surveyed) was information to help patients access medical services, such as where to can find labs, infusion centers, and imaging centers.
Some biopharmaceutical companies have helped physicians support patients by providing COVID-19 related education, such as:
- Information about how treatment options might change post-COVID-19
- Information to help patients manage their conditions while coping with the pandemic
- Education on how to better treat patients remotely
Reaching the right providers, at the right time, with the right information
Biopharmaceutical companies can add another channel to engage with physicians by providing the information and tools they need. Veradigm TouchPoint Media reaches physicians at the point-of-care, in a channel they use daily: the EHR.* It can deliver messages via multiple EHR platforms, and TouchPoint Media can help you reach the specific providers you want to reach.
Why Veradigm TouchPoint Media works? First, it leverages de-identified real-time data from EHRs to deliver highly targeted awareness messaging, compliant with HIPAA and other applicable laws, so your messaging can reach the providers who will benefit most from it. Second, awareness messages are delivered across a broad range of clinical workflow elements that are used daily in the provider/patient consultation.** This allows awareness messaging to be integrated into the EHR contextually where the messaging provided has the potential to provide the most value.
Contact us to learn more about Veradigm TouchPoint Media and how it can help you help your providers.
*Advertisements are displayed in an iframe window that is separate and distinguishable from the clinical and practice management workflow within the EHR.
**No biopharma or device advertisements appear during the prescribing workflow consistent with applicable law.