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RedPrairie report reveals shopping preferences of Gen Y

BY Marianne Wilson

ATLANTA — RedPrairie has released a new study that is designed to help retailers and manufacturers better understand the shopping habits of Gen Y and how to effectively communicate with this group of tech-savvy 18- to 29-year-olds.

“Successful engagement with millennial consumers is about adding value to their shopping experience and respecting both their privacy and their preferred methods of communication,” said David Bruno, director of corporate messaging at RedPrairie. “The good news is, Gen Y consumers are not shy about having their voices heard.”

According to "The Millennial Report," there are key points to follow when engaging millennial consumers. These include:

  • Respect their time: Recognize preferences and make meaningful recommendations;

  • Pick your spots: Make strategic advertising decisions and avoid bombarding at every channel;

  • Be there: Develop the versatility to be available across all selling channels and social media, so no need goes unmet;

  • Opinions matter: Facilitate peer communication to help build brand awareness and loyalty; and

  • Connect the dots: Connect store, customer and direct channel to make transactions seamless and keep customers coming back.

“When it comes to trying to satisfy millennials, the bottom line for brands is adaptability,” Bruno said. “One minute they want to shop and compare online and via every social networking site available, and the next they want to purchase in store. “

To reach this group, retailers essentially need to provide ‘endless aisle’ capabilities in every channel and location, according to Bruno.

“When marketing to millennials, retailers and brands must strike a balance between personalizing the shopping experience via individualized product information and not overwhelming or overstepping perceived boundaries of privacy,” he said. “It’s a challenge to meet these seemingly conflicting expectations, but with the right technology and integration in place, it’s achievable.”

A complimentary copy of the report is available here.

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Surescripts, Epic partner on electronic health records

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — Electronic prescribing network Surescripts will connect its system to the interoperability platform of a company that provides electronic health records, under a partnership announced Thursday.

Surescripts announced that it would work with Epic to integrate its Clinical Interoperability Network with Epic’s Care Everywhere platform, allowing providers who use Epic’s EHR to securely exchange clinical information with peers between practices and across health systems, including referrals, discharge summaries and lab results. Clinical interoperability is a healthcare provider’s ability to share a patient’s health information electronically and, according to experts, is a critical step in accelerating the digital transformation of the country’s healthcare system, according to Surescripts, which said that medical information for 150 million patients would be stored in an Epic digital record by next year.

"Surescripts continues to be committed to enhancing our network, expanding our capabilities and enabling the flow of new types of health information to advance connectivity and enable diverse parties to work together," Surescripts president and CEO Harry Totonis said. "With our Clinical Interoperability Network, we will enable broader health information sharing between thousands more care providers nationwide. Our goal is to connect the entire U.S. healthcare system to support improvements in care, safety, cost and health outcomes."

According to a Surescripts survey of 400 physicians, 55% of respondents said important patient information always or frequently arrived after the patient visit, a statistic the company said wasn’t surprising because 91% of doctors still use fax machines to share information with other doctors, while 57% use telephones and 53% use electronic health records or the U.S. Postal Service.


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Kalorama reports several new OTC categories under consideration by FDA

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Kalorama Information on Thursday reported that a number of Rx-to-OTC switch applications currently are under review by the Food and Drug Administration across several new-to-self-care categories, including overactive bladder, bacterial infections, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

“We are beginning to see the early preparations for a boost to the OTC market with revived FDA attention to Rx-to-OTC switches,” stated Melissa Elder, analyst for Kalorama Information. “Keep an eye on companies like Merck — known for attempting to provide first-in-category switches.”

Kalorama Information estimates the market for such OTC approaches to be $78 billion in 2011. "Growth has been sluggish in the past few years, but consumer demand and favorable regulation will drive growth in the market as controlling healthcare costs has become a primary concern in recent years," the firm stated.

Earlier this week, DSN reported that the FDA’s advisory committee will be meeting to determine whether the overactive bladder medication Oxytrol is appropriate as a nonprescription therapy. For that story, click here

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