AHA and OnBase: When Endorsements Matter

We’ve all seen celebrity endorsements. I have foggy childhood memories of that famous line, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”

I faintly recall the words coming from Bernie Kopell, the doctor from “The Love Boat,” as he offered advice on over-the-counter painkillers – or maybe it was a doctor from “General Hospital.” But if it was “The Love Boat” doc, well, that strikes me as especially funny. I mean, sure, the guy pretended to care for the fictitiously afflicted while coping with Gopher’s zany antics. Why not turn to him for medication advice? That can only end well.

Here we have a great example of an appeal to celebrity, a logical fallacy essentially meaning that just because someone famous says something, it must be true. Yet as an advertising and marketing tool, it remains chillingly effective.

On the other hand, have someone more credible deliver that message, perhaps your family physician, and that same message carries much more weight.  

There are distinct reasons for that credibility. First, your physician is making a recommendation predicated on knowledge gleaned from education and experience. But I wouldn’t even take this recommendation at face value. Ask for an explanation. Explore the reasoning behind the endorsement. Know the “why” inside and out before taking it to heart.

There’s also the nature of your relationship with the endorser. Does that person or entity know you, your needs and your goals? Or, rather, is the endorsement more of a blanket statement, architected more toward mass appeal than individual benefit? No harm in those endorsements meant to apply to a larger target audience, but I’d recommend taking those with a grain of salt and doing a bit of research to make sure your uniqueness falls under its umbrella.

And, of course, there’s the endorsement itself. Does it even make sense? Even the best and smartest among us are human, capable of making mistakes and errors in judgment. And, sadly, sometimes that endorsement can be purchased. After all, do we really think that Michael Jordan is deeply concerned about all of our undergarment-related needs?

Recently, the AHA repeated its endorsement of OnBase as the enterprise content management system of choice. For hospitals, I like to think that endorsement meets all of the aforementioned criteria of a credible recommendation. The AHA is an organization representing more than 5,000 hospitals and dedicated to the improvement of patient care. Further, the due diligence it conducts prior to offering its endorsement helps ensure a recommendation that aligns with hospital needs and objectives.

As for whether the recommendation applies to you (or even makes sense), that’s entirely your call. No matter how credible the endorsement, it can’t answer that question for you. Instead, look at your organization, its people and its processes. Do you find that content sometimes slips through the cracks? That processes aren’t running as smoothly as they could? If so, then perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at that endorsement and what content management can mean to your hospital.

Jared Blankenship

Jared Blankenship likes words. He likes to read them. He likes to write them. And he likes to share them. That pretty much explains his decade spent in business and technology journalism. Rich in complexity and perspectives, the healthcare industry eventually replaced journalism. Jared has spent almost six years in the healthcare IT, humbled daily by the new things he learns and grateful to those willing to share their knowledge. He counts his time spent volunteering in a local ICU and onsite participation in two major Cerner EMR deployments as his most valued. And he looks forward to adding more.

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