Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

The healthcare industry is hard. New technology and regulation are constantly threatening to disrupt the status quo. Up-front capital investments in R&D, training, and infrastructure are necessary for traditional players, but low-cost competition constantly threatens disruption.

In this quickly changing competitive environment, the smartest pharmaceuticals, medical device manufacturers, and hospital systems have been using sophisticated digital asset management (DAM) systems to make their entire organization more nimble. At the same time, many laggards are struggling with outdated or non-existent DAMs.

If your organization is lagging, here are 3 key factors to ensure you get the most from an investment in DAM:

  1. DAM Must Support Compliance Audits: IT projects for healthcare organizations cost more because of regulation. A leading global systems integrator simply adds 33% to all estimates for the industry because of the regulatory overhead. DAM is no exception to this rule (although HIPAA doesn’t apply in most cases), but a well-implemented DAM can lower the cost of compliance in the future. By ensuring proper storage and version control of any content that is subject to regulation, complying with an audit can become a simple 5-minute, 4-step process: search, selection, compression and export.  Make sure your compliance team is involved in the requirement gathering for DAM and you should uncover a number of painful compliance processes that your new system can help simplify.

  2. Implement for DAM the Enterprise (Rather than a Silo): Healthcare organizations are often organizationally complex.  Hospital systems have corporate and local staff; pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers rely on complex organizational matrices by country and product. With many moving pieces, it is tempting to implement departmental DAMs rather than trying to make everyone happy. But even if you start small, you should ensure that the initial phase comes with a roadmap to support the entire organization. A company that ends up with 10 separate departmental DAMs will pay more for support and get less for their investment.  And since no end user wants to search multiple systems and navigate multiple taxonomies to find a single asset, departmental DAMs often fail from a change management perspective.

  3. Don’t Limit DAM to B2C Marketing: My father was a physician and as a result I am well aware that the pharmaceutical industry in the 1970s and 1980s spent a significant portion of their marketing budget on branded lava lamps, sponge animals and stress balls.  It took me some time to realize that Merck and Hasbro were not direct competitors. The point is that marketing to hospitals and physicians is a different use case than direct-to-consumer marketing, but the use of logos, product information, and sales collateral means that DAM can play an important role.  Younger physicians probably already prefer to access collateral and educational materials in digital form—perhaps your DAM should enable direct customer access? And for hospitals, perhaps the DAM can simplify the process of sharing high-resolution MRIs between the labs and consulting physicians. A DAM that just supports consumer-facing advertising is a huge step forward for many organizations; but one that does not consider additional use cases will leave money on the table.

These three points are just the beginning. If you’d like to discuss how DAM can add value to your organization, please contact us.

Think we forgot a key factor related to DAM for healthcare? Please contact us.

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