EHRs the latest advertising billboard for manufacturers

Physicians using cloud-based electronic health records should expect to see more pop-up and other types of advertisements from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, according to a recent article in American Medical News.

Manufacturers are turning to EHR-based advertising because the ads are relatively inexpensive, specific to patients, and seen by actual physicians. A number of EHR vendors, such as Practice Fusion, sell ads as a way to provide their products for free.

"From an advertiser perspective, the functionality of EHRs and EMRs is potentially a gold mine in that you are able to reach physicians during point of care and in a targeted capacity, as well," Jonathon Padron, a senior client service analyst for Reston, Va.-based Internet analytics company comScore, said, according to the article.

ComScore released a report in December that found EHR vendor websites were the most popular websites among physicians, with the highest physician engagement rates. Four-fifths (81 percent) of the 1,000 physicians surveyed accessed such sites more than government, association or social media sites. The physicians also spent more time on EHR vendor sites per visit than on other sites.

EHR ads may become more prevalent as the number of physicians adopting EHRs grows, as is expected when the penalty phase of the Meaningful Use program kicks in. Physicians who have not adopted certified EHR systems by then will see reductions in their Medicare reimbursement. The CDC's most recent data brief reported that 72 percent of office based physicians are using EHRs, although the brief did not indicate what percentage of that figure are using certified EHRs or cloud-based systems.

To learn more:
- here's the amednews article