Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Healthcare providers (HCP) routinely need to address questions and issues concerning the medications they are utilizing. There are numerous resources they can utilize for that information. The purpose of this survey was to gain knowledge of the preferred methods and sources HCPs use to obtain medical information with the ultimate objective of improving HCP access to quality medical information.
Methods: In March 2019, 511 healthcare professionals were surveyed through a third-party market research firm and were composed of 202 physicians, 105 clinical pharmacists, 100 advance practice nurses, 53 registered nursed, and 51 physician assistants practicing in the United States in a variety of practice settings and with a variety of specialties. Individuals working for a pharmaceutical company were excluded. The survey included demographics of respondents, frequency of searching medical information, types of questions searched, sources of medical information, and rationale for preferred and non-preferred sources of medical information. Utilization of medical information resources were rated on a 5-point ordinal scale. Descriptive statistics were utilized to describe the data.
Results: Of the 511 respondents, 452 (88%) search for medical information either daily or several times per week. The most common questions were dosing/administration, drug-drug interactions, adverse events and safety, clinical practice guidelines, and disease state information. Specific medication websites/applications were “frequently” searched, while general online search engines, medical literature search database, prescribing labels/information, professional literature and company resources were “sometimes” searched. Specific medication websites/applications (76%) and general online search engines (87%) were used 76% and 87% of the time, respectively, for ease of use; medical literature search database (67%), prescribing labels/information (57%), and professional literature (62%) were used 67%, 57%, and 62% of the time, respectively, for their accuracy. The main reason for infrequent use of specific medication websites/applications and medical literature search database, 33% and 45% respectively, was unfamiliarity; for general online search engines (63%), inaccuracy; and for prescribing labels/information and professional literature (53%; 62%), “takes too long”. The pharmaceutical company was used “sometimes” for medical information. When the medical information department was used, the medical information department call center and the website were considered thorough/complete (56% and 71%); however, the limitations included “takes too long” (58%) or unfamiliarity with the website (48%).
Conclusion: HCP frequently search for medical information. Specific medication websites and general online search engines are frequently/very frequently used primarily due to the ease of use. While many utilize prescribing label/information and professional literature, the main limitation is that it takes too long. Information provided by pharmaceutical companies is seen as thorough/complete; however, time to use and unfamiliarity are the main limitations. By understanding search preferences of HCPs, more efficient and useful resources can be developed. There is a need to provide a centralized location for medical information that brings together the benefits of each of the resource/platforms identified.