FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. - BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company, unveiled findings from a survey conducted by The Harris Poll, showcasing clinicians' current sentiment around COVID-19 testing. Among the key findings:
Clinicians Have Seen an Influx of Patients and Continue to Test for COVID-19: 93% of clinicians say they are likely to recommend a COVID-19 test when a patient is experiencing symptoms that could be either COVID-19 or something else like the flu, allergies or a cold.
Clinicians Value COVID-19 Testing of All Kinds: 96% of clinicians believe that the right tools for testing are critical for timely diagnosis and care.
Clinicians Are Interested in Combination Flu/COVID-19 Tests: 87% of clinicians say they would be interested in purchasing combination tests for their practice.
'It can be incredibly challenging for medical providers to differentiate between COVID-19 symptoms and symptoms of other very common upper respiratory complaints, including influenza, allergies, the common cold,' said Jeff Andrews, vice president Medical Affairs, Integrated Diagnostic Solutions, BD Life Sciences. 'This is because many of these symptoms overlap and are present in several of these complaints such as coughing, sneezing and sore throat. The best way for clinicians and patients to know is to test. This is increasingly true during respiratory season, which is typically October through May in the United States, where many of these viruses and conditions co-circulate.'
Managing Patient Testing
The survey found that about nine in 10 clinicians perform COVID-19 testing, with almost two-thirds reporting that they collect samples and conduct tests on-site (63%) and one in four reporting that they send their samples to an off-site lab (25%). Among those whose practices perform COVID-19 tests, clinicians have administered, on average, 116 COVID-19 tests in the past month.
Most clinicians (85%) reported that they experienced 'a great deal or a lot' of patients during the winter flu season, while half reported 'a great deal or a lot' of patients during allergy season. However, nearly all clinicians reported at least some degree of patient influx during the winter flu season (99%) and allergy season (97%).
They study also unveiled that 92% of clinicians expect patients to question whether they are experiencing allergies or COVID-19 during this year's allergy season. Meanwhile, 86% agree that they expect a surge of patients that will require testing during the 2022-2023 flu season.
COVID-19 Testing Sentiment
Nearly all clinicians (99%) reported laboratory PCR tests as effective in detecting COVID-19, while 86% reported rapid antigen tests as effective in COVID-19 detection. However, 97% deem a mixture of either rapid molecular or antigen testing with PCR confirmatory testing as effective in terms of detecting the presence of COVID-19.
The study also found that a vast majority of clinicians (93%) agree that reliable and widely available testing of all types, remains one of the most important measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Likewise, a similar proportion (93%) agree that rapid antigen at-home COVID-19 testing is a good solution for patients who cannot schedule a time at a testing facility or doctor's office, while 88% would encourage patients to purchase at-home rapid antigen tests for COVID-19.
Combination Flu/COVID-19 Testing Sentiment
The vast majority of clinicians surveyed (94%) agree that a combination test is often necessary when patients exhibit symptoms that are common to COVID-19 and other viruses like influenza A and influenza B.
Moreover, 66% say they would be willing to pay more for the ability to have digitally read test results, and/or the ability to automatically report results to local and federal health authorities (62%). Clinicians cited reliability of results (81%), cost (76%), timeliness of results (75%) and ease of use (69%) as the top factors that would make them more interested in using combination tests.
The research was conducted online in the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of and commissioned by BD and surveyed 300 clinicians whose primary medical specialty is family practice, general practice or internal medicine. The survey was conducted from March 28 to April 12, 2022.
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