Unveiling HCP Communication Patterns: Key Insights from a Study of 120 Primary Care Physicians
A recent study of 120 primary care physicians, titled “Every Message Everywhere All at Once” conducted by OptimizeRX, concluded that HCPs actively seek professional information across as many as 10 media channels and they rely on different communication pathways for different information needs. Sounds logical, doesn’t it? This new data adds to our understanding of HCPs thinking and behavior and directs us to surround HCPs with timely, relevant, personalized messages across traditional, in-person, and digital channels.
HCPs seek information to satisfy two key needs. First is to become aware of and keep up with clinical and treatment advances to better serve their patients. Scientific data, clinical trial results, new formulations, comparisons of new drugs with existing drugs, and the standard of care that is highly prized and frequently sought after.
Physicians frequently dig deeper on their own to find clinical trial results, consult with peers, and evaluate real world data without big pharma spin. They look for information from life science companies that align with and reflect their practice populations along with evidence that outlines the clinical benefits of new versus existing medications or therapies.
Of equal interest is information to pass along to patients including insurance information, eligibility for new therapies, preauthorization requirements, formulary coverage, drug pricing, patient success stories, product information, availability of financial assistance, and pharmacy distribution. Helping patients understand their disease and the practicality of treatment drives many physicians to do their own research to surface patient-friendly content which impacts openness to prescribe new medications.
Social and digital channels play a significant and increasingly important role in engaging physicians since new communication patterns, sparked by Covid, become the new normal. Physicians need information before, during and after seeing patients, and they look to specific media at each stage in the patient or treatment journey. Specific needs vary by specialty. For example, dermatologists and endocrinologists need patient education and support materials. Cardiologists need to understand patient eligibility. PCPs need formulary and preauthorization protocols.
The leading social channels used by HCPs are private, physician-only Walled Gardens, public social platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn for peer-to-peer engagement, and third-party publishers like UptoDate. Marketers must understand the content, the nuances, and the usage patterns of these channels and orchestrate messages and content to intersect and super serve HCPs’ stated dual needs.