DrChrono and Sermo’s ‘Blue Blazes’ moments

click to enlargeNeil Versel in his personal blog Meaningful HIT News notes meaningful lapses in accuracy and good communications taste from two reputable companies targeted to US medical professionals. DrChrono is a mobile ambulatory EHR tweeting about ‘cashing in’ on the HITECH Act–the program that rewards practices for achieving stages of Meaningful Use with EHRs. Sermo is a physician social networking platform that has staged a contest called ‘The Pro Football Injury Challenge’  where one will go ‘head-to-head’ with other doctors in ‘making predictions about how injuries will affect pro athletes this season.’ This Editor felt in her comments below the article that this promotion’s communication crossed the line into, on the usual two-second read, a message that it is OK to ‘play for glory’ and win prizes out of players’ real pain, injury and career disaster–a misbegotten effort to gamify real-world medical situations ostensibly for learning. Yes, both have sound messages at the core, but how they were communicated…regrettable. Both DrChrono and Sermo are nominated for ‘Blue Blazes’ because, to paraphrase Neil, ‘what are their marketers thinking?’ What do you think? And this Editor would be more than open to comments from representatives of these two companies. DrChrono and Sermo, what are you thinking?

Editor’s Update: Sermo has provided an important response and clarification blazingly fast in their blog here.

First and foremost, we apologize for the insensitive language used in the launch email and for giving the idea that we were asking doctors to predict future player injuries.  The Pro Football Challenge was intended solely for physicians to aggregate data like the PBS study performed last pro football season, which exposed and quantified the true magnitude of player injuries in the NFL.

and

By collecting physician opinion on how concussions (in the aggregate) are trending in pro football, we are complementing and expanding the clinical discussion prior to the upcoming PBS Special, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.

This Editor especially appreciates 1) the rapid response via Twitter, 2) a sincere apology and 3) the appreciation of what we feel strongly about. We trust that Sermo will stay in touch with us about how the data and discussions influence the NFL. Neil’s take on the response is here.

And whither DrChrono? 

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