[ press Release ]
SURVEY OF NEARLY 11,000 DOCTORS SHOWS STRONG ADOPTION OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS, OTHER DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES
Study on Physicians Consulting Network includes two-year trends for specialists, PCPs; indicates changing attitudes towards sales rep visits
New York, NY; July 7, 2010: A new survey by Knowledge Networks using the Physicians Consulting Network (PCN®) – its panel of specialists and other health care professionals – shows how digital technology and other factors are transforming doctors' attitudes and habits. Compared to two years ago, primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialist doctors alike have dramatically increased their use of electronic health records (EHRs), and they are expecting to spend less time with sales reps in the coming six months.
The study of nearly 11,000 health care professionals also shows that more than half of PCPs and specialists already have smartphones, and that many are using them for email, shopping, e-detailing – and survey taking.
In many areas, the new research follows up on a 2008 Physicians Consulting Network study, revealing important changes in the attitudes and priorities of PCPs and specialists; results for the study can be broken out for over 50 specialties.
In the new survey, 52% of specialists and 50% of PCPs said they are already keeping their patient records in an electronic format – up 10 percentage points for specialists and 12 points for PCPs since 2008. While use of this technology will soon be mandated, these "early adopter" levels suggest a desire for digital convenience at a time when patient record keeping promises to become exponentially more complex.
In addition, 12% of specialists and 14% of PCPs said they expect to decrease the amount of time they spend with pharmaceutical sales reps in the next six months. These figures are significantly but not dramatically higher than in 2008, when the results were 8% for specialists and 9% for PCPs; but the change points to increasing demands on the time of health care professionals.
Smartphones (such as iPhones and BlackBerries) are quickly becoming a way of life for medical professionals; 62% of specialists and 55% of PCPs report having one, and roughly 85% to 90% of those who have them are using them for Internet and for email. The survey also showed that 17% of PCPs and 18% of specialists who have smartphones are using them for e-detailing and higher proportions, 29% of PCPs and 24% of specialists use them to participate in on-line surveys.
"Marketers must adjust to the needs of plugged-in, increasingly busy doctors in everything they do – from the platforms they use for messaging to the time they expect to have with prescribers," said Jim Vielee, Senior Vice President at Knowledge Networks. "Health care professionals are embracing new technologies that promise more control and convenience; we cannot help but see a connection between the use of smartphones for e-detailing and an anticipated drop in time spent with sales reps. These trends seem destined to magnify as health care reform takes effect, creating dramatic upswings in doctors' case loads."
"Smartphones are becoming a way of life for doctors, a trend we observed in our recent presentation at the PMRG National conference," said Joanne French, Vice President of Client Service at Knowledge Networks. "Having resources like the Physicians Consulting Network to explore and monitor the effects of these changes on different prescriber categories is absolutely essential to creating sound marketing strategy and tactics."
The Physicians Consulting Network (PCN®) is the only physician research panel combining senior-level survey expertise with access to thousands of hard-to-reach, highly engaged specialists. It delivers answers to the most sophisticated physician surveys with the responsiveness required for making wise decisions overnight.
Knowledge Networks specializes in solving complex, high-impact problems, providing extraordinary quality and service to leaders in business, government and academia. We work closely with clients to create healthy consumer-brand connections, effective marketing and advertising, sound public policies, and accurate social science research. We have established respected practices in media, marketing, advertising, and government & academic studies. KN excels in study design, analytics, and custom panel creation; we deliver affordable, statistically valid online research through KnowledgePanel® – the only available probability selected, nationally representative Internet panel.