It’s All Related: Veganism, EHR, and Conversational Marketing

Contributed by:

Angelo Campano, Director, Customer Experience (EHR & CRM), Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide

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Humans have no need for animal products; the increasing numbers of vegans in this country (and planet), is a testament topv1116_angelocampano how easy it is to live a healthily fulfilling lifestyle without ever harming an animal.”

This quote by author Angel Finn inspired me to make a change, one my family and I have been discussing for years. Over the last few months of changing my lifestyle to that of veganism, I have seen and felt almost immediate health benefits.

In the weeks leading up to the change, I asked my primary care physician what specific changes I need to make beyond just food to ensure that my body adapts in the right way to no more animal protein. I was also concerned about starving my body of B vitamins, hard to obtain from plants. We charted my changes, capturing everything from my BMI to my heart rate in a patient portfolio. It was a great discussion: my PCP even spoke about he had been considering going vegan.

During my most recent visit a few weeks ago, I noticed something different in his office. The paper charts were now replaced with a MacBook laptop running an electronic health record (EHR) program. This powerful tool helped prompt a different conversation. My BMI and heart rate became on-screen visuals through pie graphs, line charges, and a timeline. I could see how the change to vegan has changed me.

What was truly surprising was how my PCP handled my shortage in B vitamins. While he was charting in his EHR, at the exact moment he entered chart notes about B vitamines, my physician received a direct message from a manufacturer specified for his current patient (that’s me) about a daily B vitamin supplement. I walked out of his office with B vitamins samples and an excitement to take them. This real-time communication (and ultimate conversation) was built by a specific business rule, placed there by the manufacturer, that deemed both me and my physician appropriate to receive “conversational marketing.” “Conversational marketing” is two-way communication intended for both PCP and patient.

Conversational Marketing

For a physician, open conversation is vital to understanding patient needs, providing services, and offering recommendations that solidify trust and confidence.

Marketers often rely exclusively on less effective, one-way communication channels like display advertisement. For some, learning the deep understanding of how to deliver a message in the EHR is something that successful marketers have begun to leverage, looking towards the EHR as start of a conversation to deeply engage the physician, while with the most appropriate patient with information that truly helps improve loyalty and increase product satisfaction.

EHR conversational marketing is an emerging ad channel that uses the highly personalized tool to deliver one-on-one conversations.
Physicians can learn about and remember client interests through the highly automated EHR technology. The result is better targeted messaging that drives higher response and conversion rates during the time a prescription or recommendation decision is made.

If your marketing in the EHR still rely exclusively on one-way channels like display advertisements, you’re missing opportunities to grow a stronger relationship with your customers. Display advertisements flow in one direction. With EHRs, you can both talk and listen.
One-way communication just isn’t as effective. When you know what your customers wants, you can offer discounts, inform of special events, and delivery relevant information in your EHR campaigns that resonate, are more likely to convert and generate more excitement.
EHR conversational marketing is a channel especially well suited where trust is paramount and strong relationships already exist.

Personalized information collected through conversations also enables the manufacturer to remain above the customer marketing noise.
When fighting for customer mindshare, it’s easy for messages to get lost in the shuffle. A key to breaking through the clutter is with personalization and relevance.

Everyone has communication preferences, so you’ll reach the most targets at the most opportune times when you’re not dependent on a single channel.

The health benefits of veganism have been illuminating. But learning about how we can have a conversation on the EHR with a physician during the point of care with an appropriate patient has been truly enlightening. (PV)

Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide — the health behavior specialists of Ogilvy & Mather — is committed to creativity and effectiveness in healthcare communications, everywhere.
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