The COVID-19 pandemic has shown to be an incredible catalyst for digital communication. It has dramatically changed how stakeholders, including HCPs, get their information in a world where face to face interaction is at a minimum and relationships are adapting to meet changing needs. 

In an effort to better understand how the relationship between the HCP and pharma representative is changing, the Syneos Health® Insights and Innovation team conducted a survey with US-based providers. The survey, conducted via SERMO, targeted more than 250 HCPs across various specialties and sought to understand how HCPs currently receive digital information and how they would like to do so in the future. Additional topics covered in the survey include understanding how HCPs wish to interact with pharmaceutical reps currently and how Syneos Healthcan potentially support the information gap produced by a lack of face-to-face visits. 

2/3 of HCPs surveyed were interacting with their pharma rep either weekly or monthly before the pandemic, and unsurprisingly, 83% of HCPs reported that face-to-face interactions with reps have decreased in the last 3 months. The HCP/rep relationship is important however, with more than 80% of HCPs wanting to engage with reps through face to face interactions again in the future. 

During this time of digital transformation, HCPs are already using various forms of technology to stay informed and up to date on their practice. 73% reported using digital forms of technology to improve general clinical knowledge. Sources are varied to keep them up to date and informed, including through their EMR, professional newsletters, and websites, and through other HCPs on social media. When asked if these sources of information could be leveraged to support the relationship with their rep, it was found that most HCPs surveyed were receptive. More than 60% of these HCPs would be receptive to tailored ad communications based on their previous interactions with pharmaceutical companies.

A new tool from Syneos Health, Digital Amplifier, can help further the impact made by the rep and HCP relationship, by providing tailored, digital communications around subjects that matter to their clinical practice. Communication can be tailored for use through trusted channels, and can help HCPs stay connected and update on new product information. 

More information about Digital Amplifier and how it can support HCPs stay connected with pharmaceutical reps will be available in the coming months. 

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.