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The Need for a Common Currency in POC

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You’re likely in the thick of planning for 2019 (caffeine in hand!). If you’re following in the footsteps of other pharma brands and agencies, there’s a good chance you’re looking to include point-of-care (POC) tactics in your plans: According to Medical Marketing & Media Healthcare Marketers 2017 Trend Report, 36% of pharma brand marketers expect to increase their POC marketing spend this year.

Great stats that show point of care is on the rise! That said, it is still somewhat of a niche channel and can be complex compared to traditional channels. To help further your POC planning efforts, here are some helpful industry resources I recommend:

  • Why POC: A quick look into the promotional effectiveness POC generates to support your brand.
  • POC Buyer’s Guide: What standards and questions should you ask in choosing a point of care investment?
  • Auditing and Verification Standards: As the POC3 Buyer’s Guide advises, brands and agencies need to be fully up-to-date on network verification efforts of their potential POC partner. This is an inside look at what we do at PatientPoint (and I like to think we set the bar high!).
  • Measurement Glossary: Your cheat sheet for better understanding the terms and research methodologies behind POC measurement approaches.

What are the challenges you see in planning for point of care? One that I see has risen is the need for a common currency: Is it doctors? Locations? Impressions? It’s critical to compare apples to apples when putting that buy in a spreadsheet, as practices are definitely not created equal.

According to the American Medical Association, for the first time in modern U.S. history, less than half of doctors own their own medical practice. Rather, as the New York Times reported, 43% of all HCPs are now employed by top hospital groups and health systems. So a large practice brings much more value to a brand than a 1-2 doctor practice, which would be missed when just counting locations as the sole “currency.” Thus, my vote is for the currency of HCPs! It’s how pharma targets, and it’s how we recruit providers to be a part of our growing network.

At PatientPoint, we have 80 full-time employees working with HCPs/systems across the country and we’re investing $25 million into health systems for greater patient and physician engagement. We’re also committed to growing in other areas where client impact will be the greatest:

  • Primary care: Expansion to more than 25k high-value primary care HCPs by EOY 2019
  • Continued growth to deliver unprecedented impact in oncology of nearly 40% of all volume
  • Launching patient and physician platforms for the neurology specialty in 2019

All of this is being done to ensure you gain the most value out of your POC investments. I want to hear from you – what do you think the common currency should be in measuring POC effectiveness? Let me know at or (513) 936-3549.

Linda Ruschau
Chief Client Officer at PatientPoint
Linda Ruschau is the Chief Client Officer at PatientPoint, the trusted leader of patient and physician engagement solutions at the point of care. She brings over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical marketing, point-of-care expertise, client service leadership and business acumen to the role. As one of its first employees, Ruschau helped PatientPoint pioneer the point-of-care industry in exam rooms, waiting rooms, clinical areas and throughout a patient’s hospital stay. She is now one of the company’s longest-tenured leaders. Ruschau can be reached by email at or telephone at (513) 936-6819.
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