Athenahealth Wants To 'Let Doctors Be Doctors'

Doctors have two huge frustrations, according to athenahealth. They spend an enormous portion of their day not really thinking clinically about problems for patients. And they face a huge wall between them and the information they need in order to treat patients effectively. 

Those two challenges help to form the basis of athenahealth's new 'Let Doctors Be Doctors" campaign that uses humor to expose the frustrations of being a doctor, particularly the issues and obstacles created by electronic health record systems (EHRs).

Developed with creative agency Ari Merkin LLC, production company m ss ng p eces, and media agency Publicis Health Media, the initiative focuses on digital and social media, with additional support appearing in print and radio. The online videos are available on YouTube, and are also running as pre-roll video ads on sites including The Atlantic, The Economist, Forbes, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.  



Print ads are running in publications including American Family Physician, The Atlantic, Medical Economics and Physicians Practice. The campaign also includes national and spot radio ads on NPR, and may also include spot TV in the future.--

Through this campaign, athenahealth also started testing new video platforms and partnerships with Facebook and Instagram -- via TubeMogul’s platform - in order to extend reach of the videos and to help with its 2016 spend strategies. 

The healthcare provider is experimenting with programmatic TV with TubeMogul at both a local and national level for the first time, and is "looking to leverage its cutting edge targeting and technologies to reach our audiences," says Cindy Klein Roche, VP of marketing, athenahealth. 

The project is already exceeding expectations. In seven days, #LetDoctorsBeDoctors reached more than 3.5 million individuals, while athenahealth's Let Doctors Be Doctors microsite had over 24,000 visits and 360 unique posts from the healthcare community. At the same time, ZDoggMD's rap parody video, "EHR State of Mind," has had more than 125,000 views.  

"Our previous marketing campaigns were always more pragmatic," says Klein Roche. "Let Doctors Be Doctors is our first 'non-advertising' advertising campaign. Our goal was to emotionally connect with physicians and let them know that we understand the pain and the frustration they are feeling. We wanted to tell a story they can identify with and to point out the absurdity of the disconnectedness and the inefficiency that has taken over the healthcare industry due to a fragmented EHR landscape. This campaign is a rallying cry to doctors and the healthcare industry that we all need to do better and to bring about positive change."  

The second phase will evolve from serving as an awareness campaign to hopefully resulting in real change, says Klein Roche. "Our goal is to extend our reach as far as possible to bring together healthcare experts, doctors, patients, policy makers, and the entire healthcare sector to wake up and demand better health IT services."

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