As policymakers and health professionals look to forecast when the U.S. can begin easing safer at home restrictions, the availability and timing of reliable COVID-19 testing has been heralded as one of the key determinants. The latest results from the Sermo COVID-19 Real Time Barometer of 5,500 physicians found that as of April 15, only one-third (34%) of U.S.-based physicians believe the status of COVID-19 testing meets the levels needed.
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Regional Testing Availability
Globally, 87% of physicians in Korea, 71% in Australia, 73% in China and 65% in Germany have reported high availability of tests. In the U.S., only 21% of physicians in North Carolina, 24% in Ohio, 25% in Virginia, 26% in New Jersey, 27% in Missouri and 29% in Arizona believe there is a high availability of tests in their respective states.
An anonymous Sermo General Practice physician commented, “I worked in a Primary Care Center and we have not had tests to be able to attend to our suspected patients. Medications are limited for our patients and there is a lack of masks as well as protective suits to avoid taking risks when caring for our patients.”
Timing for Test Results
Turnaround time for test results in the U.S. continues to be a barrier in the fight against COVID-19. As of March 25th, only 15% of U.S. physicians reported that they’re able to get COVID-19 test results back within a day compared to 51% in Europe. Some progress has been made to date, but is still not at the level needed to allow physicians and patients to take swift action; as of April 15, 30% of U.S. physicians reported they were able to get test results back within a day compared to 60% in Europe.
“The availability of COVID-19 testing is one of the critical factors that will help determine what the future looks like when it comes to opening the country, and these insights from our physicians are important data points to helping make this determination,” said Peter Kirk, CEO, Sermo. “We think it’s important to amplify the voices of physicians on the frontlines who have unparalleled firsthand insights into this global crisis, and it’s clear from their feedback that we still have much to consider as the U.S. looks to reopen its economy.”
In total, Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer observational study has polled over 20,000 physicians in 30 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Russia, China, Japan and Australia. All data published to date and study methodology can be found here.
Sermo is the largest healthcare data collection company and social platform for physicians, reaching 1,3MM HCPs across 150 countries. The platform enables doctors to anonymously talk real-world medicine, review treatment options via our proprietary Drug Ratings platform, collectively solve patient cases, and participate in medical market research. For more information, visit sermo.com.