With the US entering its 4th month of the coronavirus pandemic, the needs of patients, HCPs and healthcare system are changing and will continue to evolve. In an effort to better understand how one aspect of technology, specifically telemedicine, is impacting HCP behaviors, the Syneos Health Insights and Innovation team conducted a survey with US-based HCPs. Findings were part of a larger campaign of pulse surveys to understand how partners can better serve HCPs during the pandemic.  The survey was administered via SERMO and targeted more than 250 US HCPs in family practice, cardiology, oncology, pulmonology, and rheumatology. Questions covered a range of topics including their use of telemedicine, and their behaviors with patients including engagement and prescribing. 

The survey found that telemedicine technologies have been available to many HCPs and are growing in popularity (94% vs 78% found in similar survey administered in March), and with that increase in HCP access is a growth in patient engagement. 

When asked about other behaviors such as prescribing however, HCPs noted they would largely stay the same. 70% of HCPs noted that telemedicine practices would not change their prescribing behaviors, a figure that was slightly higher (77%) in the March 2020 survey. 

In thinking about how their practices will function once they are allowed to open, HCPs noted differences when compared to pre-pandemic practices. 90% of HCPs noted that their practices will be open with one month of the May 2020 survey, but only 40% will allow reps at the practice. This drop-off in rep engagement brings concerns about having adequate drug supply for their patients. Innovative solutions driven by HCP demand can ensure that reps are efficiently engaging with practices to provide supply that is needed in a safe and socially distant manner. 

For more information on how telemedicine practices are evolving during the COVID-19 pandemic, refer to the report of the first survey conducted in March 2020, as well as podcast interview with Jodi Scarbrough, Director of Custom Research.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Katta, Lead Researcher, is a member of the global Insights Lab at Syneos Health. Her research helps inform decisions at the patient and physician level to drive marketing strategy for both internal stakeholders and external healthcare clients. At Syneos Health she informs her team’s strategy designing primary research utilizing her background in biochemistry, clinical research, and public health. Her area of expertise lies in a deep understanding of various aspects of clinical trials including patient recruitment, site management, and trial coordination. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois and a Master of Public Health from DePaul University.