New Survey Says: Physicians Seeking Practical Help and Value for Their Practices

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Third edition of Publicis Touchpoint Solutions' "What Physicians Want!" survey reveals how physicians feel the life sciences industry is serving their needs.

Publicis Touchpoint Solutions released the third edition of their What Physicians Want! survey today. This survey updates 2 previous survey reports (published in 2008 and 2010) to determine how well the life sciences industry is fulfilling its value proposition to physicians. The survey also examines physicians’ attitudes toward emerging digital and social media and was conducted in conjunction with Sermo (the largest online community exclusively for physicians).

“It is clear from the new What Physicians Want! survey that our industry has a tremendous opportunity to transform our value proposition for healthcare professionals,” stated Rick Keefer, president and CEO of Publicis Touchpoint Solutions. “The survey responses from physicians were candid and insightful—a must-read for anyone in the industry.”

The message from the survey is clear: physicians are seeking practical help and value for their practices that will help them better serve their patients. Survey highlights show that physicians are asking for:

Higher-Quality Representatives
While physicians are more satisfied with the total numbers of representatives calling on their practices today, they continue to say, “You are still not providing me with the ‘quality’ of representative I need for my practice.” This response has remained consistent throughout all 3 surveys. More than 8 in 10 physicians wanted to see higher-quality representatives, defined as those “who are trained beyond their own product, and prepared for a serious discussion of multiple therapeutic options.”

Nontraditional Representatives
Despite increasing daily time pressures, physicians’ requests for more higher-value, nontraditional representatives continue to trend upward.

  • 85% wanted more calls from customer service representatives (defined as those who do not “sell,” but instead work with physicians’ practices to provide services, such as patient literature, samples, etc)
  • 80% wanted more clinical health educators (credentialed healthcare professionals who work with physicians and/or patients to improve health outcomes)
  • 72% wanted more “hybrid” sales representatives (representatives who have defined geographic territories and specific sets of target physicians like field representatives, but who reach physicians through a variety of channels (eg, face-to-face, phone, and video) and at times (eg, work day, after hours, weekends) that are preferred and most convenient for each physician)

iPads are a clear hit with doctors with over 8 in 10 (82%) wanting to see more use of iPads or other tablets by sales representatives calling on their practices. Nearly half of the physicians responding (46%) currently use iPads/tablets for personal and/or professional use. And of the 54% who don’t yet use iPads/tablets, nearly three-quarters plan to use these in the near future.

Digital Channels
Physicians are also seeking more digital communications from life sciences companies:

  • Physicians expressed a strong desire for more websites designed specifically for healthcare professionals

    o 86% wanted more disease-state websites designed specifically for healthcare professionals
    o 77% wanted more product/branded websites designed for healthcare professionals

  • eSampling continues to have high demand, with 85% of respondents wanting more availability of eSampling

The survey also explored physicians’ use of—and attitudes about—social networking activity, additional digital channels, medical education, preferred patient communication modalities, and other “day-to-day challenges” that life sciences companies could address to provide greater value.

From this report, it is clear that physicians’ attention is on health outcomes and finding new ways to support and educate patients. Physicians continue to ask for more experienced, consultative representatives who focus on the science rather than on memorized selling points. These survey responses allow direct insight to physicians’ attitudes on trends, their objectives as healthcare professionals, and what the industry can do to help them help their patients.

A new white paper containing the complete results of the 2012 What Physicians Want! survey is available for complimentary download on the company’s website at

For business inquiries, please contact Touchpoint Business Development at (215) 525-9810 or email Impact (at) TouchpointSolutions (dot) com.

About Publicis Touchpoint Solutions, Inc.
Publicis Touchpoint Solutions provides a comprehensive array of multichannel message delivery solutions to the life sciences industry. From in field to inside and from promotional to clinical, Publicis Touchpoint Solutions centers-of-excellence include field sales and service, live video detailing, inside credentialed sales specialists, inside sales and service, clinical health educators, and medical science liaisons. A wide range of vital support solutions—each of which serves all of the company’s message delivery channels—includes recruiting, training, performance management, operations, data/analytics, and compliance. Publicis Touchpoint Solutions provides the human touch to precision multichannel messaging delivered at the right time and through the right channels to achieve maximum impact. Publicis Touchpoint Solutions is a member of the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group.
About Publicis Healthcare Communications Group
Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG) is the largest health-oriented agency network in the world. A division of Publicis Group, PHCG manages top-tier agencies specializing in promoting innovative solutions in advertising, medical education, sales and marketing, digital, market access, and medical and scientific affairs. PHCG is dedicated to delivering ideas of purpose that compel action, change lives, and amplify business outcomes. With more than 4,000 employees, PHCG manages 14 agency brands through 53 offices located in 11 countries. PHCG’s global brands are Saatchi & Saatchi Health, Publicis Life Brands, Digitas Health, Razorfish Health, Publicis Healthware International, Publicis Touchpoint Solutions, and Publics Medical Education Group, as well as strong regional brands.

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Elizabeth Lane
Touchpoint Solutions
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