While the vaccination campaign in the U.S. is progressing, COVID-19 continues to significantly impact healthcare practices. As knowledge about the virus evolved during the pandemic, physicians and other HCPs have continuously adapted how they manage their patients and how they interact with key stakeholders. Half of the physicians surveyed expect to see increased workloads as 2021 draws to a close. Patient volumes continue to inch closer to pre-pandemic levels and requests for diagnostic testing along with treatment switches have now exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
MD Analytics has been monitoring these trends and we are excited to share with you our new downloadable infographic on this topic.
While in-person patient interactions experienced a slight decline a few months into the pandemic, this means of interaction is now on the rise. Telephone and virtual interactions account for 1 in 4 patient interactions.
Most physicians feel that vaccinations will allow most restrictions to be lifted within the next 12 months. However, they will need to have 80% of their patients be vaccinated to feel completely comfortable.
At this time, fewer than half of the physicians surveyed are currently seeing reps in-person, however proof of vaccination does not appear to be mandatory in many cases. When product information is shared, it is predominantly being done so via digital means.
Relative to pre-pandemic conditions, in-person interactions, whether with reps, conferences or other means of engagement all remain low. Virtual interactions are expected to remain the preferred form of conference attendance over the next 12 months.
Remote interactions to date have typically been one-on-one interactions with reps or industry sponsored educational sessions. During lunch hours, is the preferred time for physicians to interact with reps. Unlike patient interactions, physicians report that most of their interactions with pharma remain virtual, predominantly via videoconference. In person pharma interactions are expected to double once the population is fully vaccinated.
1 in 2 physicians say they prefer virtual over in-person interactions, even after COVID-19 stabilizes. 4 in 5 physicians report being more comfortable with virtual interactions relative to a year ago. Despite this comfort, the majority do miss in-person interactions with sales reps.
- What are the current and expected impact of COVID-19 on workloads?
- How do physicians foresee COVID-19 to impact their future interactions with patients?
- What is physicians’ level of satisfaction with the vaccination campaign and how do they foresee it to impact their practice in the coming months?
- How do physicians prefer to interact with pharma as the outbreak continues and beyond?