HIT Thought Leader Highlight: Andrew Gelman, PDR Network

AGelmanAndrew Gelman, senior vice president, Corporate Development and EHR Vendor Relations and general counsel for PDR Network discusses the organization, trends for patient adherence and engagements and how EHRs will continue to enhance the care experience.

What is your role at PDR Network in terms of working with the company’s EHR vendor partnership network?

As senior vice president–EHR Vendor Relations at PDR Network, I work directly with EHR vendors to understand their systems, identify opportunities where PDR solutions can enhance their systems for providers, and developing strategic partnerships. I am the primary point of contact for members of our growing PDR Certified EHR Network, that now includes 28 industry leading partners, delivering valuable PDR services via 225 EHR platforms and reaching more than 160,000 EHR-based prescribers.

Tell me more about the PDR Network and its value proposition? What elements make it a long-lasting viable option?

As the industry leader in drug information, PDR has been a trusted partner to healthcare providers for generations. With the adoption of EHR systems the provider workflow has changed, but their need for up-to-date, FDA-approved prescribing information has not.  We have developed solutions that can be easily integrated into partner EHR systems to deliver PDR’s prescribing and patient support information to their end users:

• PDR BRIEF delivers just the key information that the provider needs at the point of prescribing,

• PDR+ for Patients provides patient education information that can be access and printed at a click, and

• PDR Search offers more in-depth drug information on demand when needed by the provider.

Our solutions enhance their systems and increase provider and patient satisfaction.  

Adoption of electronic health records is above 50 percent at this point. Where do you see it in two years? Where do we ultimately end up with adoption?

EHR adoption continues to rise and, with financial incentives in place and penalties about to hit, I see that trend continuing for the next two years and beyond. Now, we are seeing practices that understand the value of an EHR exploring other systems to find the best one for their needs. I expect EHR vendors will continue to enhance their offerings and look to incorporate additional tools to increase end end-user satisfaction.

What are providers looking for from their EHR platforms to enhance their practice and patient care? Are they achieving these goals? Why or why not? If not, what’s next?

Providers are looking to deliver the best patient care and to do it efficiently. They have reinvented their workflow with the EHR at the center because it provides the tools that they need in one place. Providers no longer need to check their phone for drug information or go to a closet to get a coupon or a patient support brochure; that’s now available from PDR directly through their EHR.

What role can EHRs play in supporting patient care and addressing critical issues, such as patient adherence? What about engagement?

EHRs deliver information at the most critical time – in the exam room when they provider is meeting with the patient and increasingly afterwards, as well. By being able to access drug information, financial support information and patient support information in real time and give it to the patient at the time their medication is prescribed, that patient is going to be more comfortable with their treatment and is more likely to fill their prescription and be adherent. Once that patient has left the office, providers can leverage the EHR’s patient portal to deliver additional treatment information electronically and help the patient maintain their treatment.

What opportunities exist for EHRs to work with the pharmaceutical industry? What are some of the benefits and challenges around such collaboration?

Bio/pharmaceutical companies increasingly understand the value EHRs provide as a channel for reaching providers directly within their workflow.  The challenge is the delivery – EHRs are not the Internet so the traditional tactics of banner ads and pop-ups are not optimal in this environment. Providers appreciate information from any source that enhances their workflow – not distracts from it – and helps them provide better patient care.

Tell me about the PharmEHR Summit. How did it begin and what is the objective of the meeting?  What topics will be addressed at next year’s Summit? Who should attend and why?

PDR recognized early that the rapid adoption of EHR systems would have a significant impact on the practice of medicine and, in turn, the way bio/pharmaceutical manufacturers reach providers in their new EHR workflow. We developed the PharmEHR Summit to create an environment of discussion among leaders in the bio/pharmaceutical and EHR industries, as well as regulators and other stakeholders, allowing them to learn from each other and identify mutually-beneficial strategies for the future. The PharmEHR Summit remains the only meeting of its kind and we will host our fourth annual Summit in spring 2014.

We are looking at the agenda now and discussing key issues like increasing EHR end user satisfaction, supporting patient adherence, and the expanding importance of patient portals. EHR vendors, bio/pharmaceutical leaders, agency partners and other stakeholders should look for the Summit this Spring and be part of the discussion.

Andrew Gelman brings more than 20 years of experience to his current role establishing relationships with electronic health record (EHR) vendors and facilitating strategic partnerships to benefit both companies. In addition to his focus on corporate development, Gelman serves as business leader for numerous emerging PDR products, as well as general counsel for the company. Prior to joining PDR, Gelman led business affairs at Rodale Inc. and managed the business development group at Inside.com. Gelman received his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and his JD degree from Georgetown University Law Center. 

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