EHR Sponsored Alerts: A Medical Safety Net or Cause For Concern?

Candice Claassen

Candice Claassen

Posted on May 07, 2015

EHR software
Free web-based EHR software sounds like a great idea, but what if this software is sponsored by pharmaceutical companies? Practice Fusion, one of the largest providers of EHR software, has more than 112,000 healthcare professionals using its products in around 5.5 million office visits each month. The vendor’s no-cost software has an alert feature that notifies providers when patients are due for services such as vaccines. These alerts are paid for by industry groups such as Merck & Co.
Practice Fusion found that over a four-month period, the alerts increased vaccinations by 73 percent, which amounts to an additional 25,000 immunizations. This could have beneficial health results, but does sponsorship have a sales-driven effect on prescribing patterns?
[related_content]Critics fear that these notifications, which match the data stored in patients’ electronic health records with pre-programmed alerts, give marketers unwarranted influence over which medications physicians prescribe and to whom.
Despite the controversy, Practice Fusion’s alerts are ultimately legal. Drugmakers are prohibited from paying physicians to prescribe their medications, and physicians using Practice Fusion software are not required to receive the sponsored alerts.
Do you think sponsored alerts are ethical? Share your thoughts with us below in the comments.

Related Posts

Graphic of a large laptop with a shield and padlock in front of it. Smaller images of people on the left and right side of the labtop interact with various mobile devices.

Posted on February 16, 2022 by Pablo Bullian

Welcome back to the Medical Web Experts Security Bulletin. Below are some recent developments that may impact your organization, as well as our recommendations for keeping your systems secure. Mitigating…Read more

Illustration of a boy sittin on top of a computer with security shields floating.

Posted on January 07, 2022 by Pablo Bullian

A Look at 2021’s Most Dangerous Vulnerabilities Found in Windows Patching is a complex task that most companies struggle with or overlook, but keeping systems, and therefore patches, updated is…Read more

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get promotions and current business tips. Sign up for our newsletter today.