Only 16% of US Physicians Believe the US Government is Taking Strong Precautions to Prevent the Spread of the Coronavirus, According to Wave 2 of InCrowd’s COVID-19 Tracking Report

Just 14% of respondents feel very prepared to treat a patient with the virus, down from 25% in Wave 1

WATERTOWN, MA February 28, 2019—New data on US physician sentiment about the preparedness of the US healthcare system for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) showed a decline in confidence by respondents in preparedness on many levels. These findings are from new research conducted and sourced by InCrowd’s proprietary Crowd of healthcare professionals (HCPs). InCrowd is the pioneer for real-time, high-quality primary market intelligence for the life science industry.

InCrowd fielded Wave 2 of its COVID-19 Tracking Report on February 26-27, 2020 in an effort to closely monitor treating physicians’ awareness, perceptions, preparedness, and concerns related to the virus.

“We’re definitely observing growing frustration from our physicians as we monitor this important issue,” said Daniel S. Fitzgerald, InCrowd CEO and president. “Respondent confidence around preparedness of the physicians themselves has declined since our first wave, as well as preparedness related to their facilities, and their views of the general preparedness of the country. We’ll continue to track this important public health emergency and share our findings.”

Physicians had a variety of concerns regarding the virus and the preparedness to address it:

  • Wave 2 shows a decline in confidence for global governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) by respondents as compared to Wave 1.
    • Confidence in preparedness efforts of the WHO and governments outside the US dropped from 45% in Wave 1 to 27% in Wave 2 of physicians who agreed they were taking strong precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • The US government fell similarly between Waves 1 and 2—from 35% to 16%, respectively—in the percentage of those who agreed the US government was taking strong precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • In Wave 1, 25% of respondents reported that they felt very prepared to treat a patient who had potentially contracted COVID-19. This number fell to just 14% in Wave 2.
  • In Wave 2, concerns by physicians over COVID-19 tripled in a month, with Wave 2 showing 29% concerned, up from 9% in Wave 1.    
  • Thirty-seven percent of physicians reported their patients were concerned in Wave 2, with only 28% noting this in Wave 1.
  • When asked if the hospital(s) or facilities where they have privileges were prepared to treat patients with COVID-19, in Wave 1, 38% agreed they could, but only 29% had that confidence in Wave 2.
  • Forty-five percent of physicians in Wave 1 agreed that their patients were more concerned about COVID-19 than the flu, which has killed more than 10,000 Americans this season. This assessment remained fairly consistent in Wave 2, with 48% reporting the concern by their patients.

Additionally, in Wave 1, none of the respondents reported that he or she suspected or knew that any of his or her patients had COVID-19. In Wave 2, one respondent reported that she suspected or knew that one or more of her patients had COVID-19. This case was reported in California.

Findings related to protocols include test kit access, willingness to test, and recommended protocols in place at health facilities:

  • Only 20% of respondents reported having access to test kits in Wave 2 as compared to 31% in Wave 1. Eleven percent of Wave 2 respondents also said they don’t know if they have access to a COVID-19 test kit—with only 3% stating this in Wave 1.
  • More physicians, 81% in Wave 2, would automatically want to test for the virus, up from 72% in Wave 1.
  • Three-fourths of respondents said their clinic or hospital had a recommended protocol in Wave 2, the same percentage noted in Wave 1. And though Wave 1 had 25% indicating they did not have a protocol, Wave 2 reflected 21% reporting a lack of a protocol, and 4% were not sure.

InCrowd’s COVID-19 data reflects the views and opinions of a cross-section of US physicians who are part of InCrowd’s panel of HCPs. This research incorporated data from n=150 qualified, US physicians responding to a 5-minute MicroSurvey for Wave 1 between January 31–February 4, 2020. Wave 1 participants included emergency medicine or critical care specialists (53% or n=78), pediatricians (25% or n=37), and primary care physicians (23% or n=35), each of whom is treating 20 or more unique patients for flu-like symptoms. Wave 2 was fielded between February 26-27, 2020. Wave 2 respondents included emergency medicine or critical care specialists (50% or n=76), pediatricians (25% or n=37), and primary care physicians (25% or n=37), each treating 20 or more unique patients for flu-like symptoms.