Telehealth has changed more than how NPs and PAs interact with patients; Life sciences companies get creative in virtual approach

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – July 23, 2020 – The evolving and growing NPs and PAs has life sciences companies taking a deeper look at engaging this powerful group of providers. A new survey of 153 NPs and PAs from POCN, the largest NP & PA network, looks at the following information in light of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Shifting roles and responsibilities
  • What types of communication channels NPs and PAs prefer
  • How NPs and PAs would like to receive communications
  • Ideas to support them in improving quality of care and provide better
    outcomes for their patients

The survey found that COVID-19 has significantly shifted both NPs’ and PAs’ roles and responsibilities:

  • Not surprisingly, most respondents noted the impact of telehealth.
    • 95 percent of respondents felt that telehealth has made a large impact
      on their interactions with patients.
    • 88 percent reported it has affected how they run their practice.
    • 80 percent said it has changed how they make treatment decisions.
  • The decrease in patient volume in clinics has had many taking on the role of nurse and management/administrative work in the office due to furloughs.
  • Many were able to be uprooted from their normal practices to go to areas of need (testing, ICU, urgent care, ERs). Due to so much pressure on the system, in some of the worst hit states, the government is suspending and waiving practice agreement requirements.

Pre-pandemic, in a previous POCN survey, nearly 59 percent of respondents used conferences to receive information from life sciences companies. Still seeking conference-style medical education in light of cancelled events, NPs and PAs are embracing electronic and virtual communications more:

  • Overwhelming majority wants to be reached electronically, through emails, journals, KOL webinars, and are open to virtual rep visits.
    • 50 percent of NPs and PAs interested in webcasts and email engagement from KOLs on brand topics.
    • 50 percent are interested in email engagement with pharma companies. In fact, 96 percent reported email outreach from their reps during this time.
  • NPs and PAs identified valuable new channels to receive brand communications, including social media like Facebook Groups and webcasts.
  • 46 percent are open to virtual video sales calls including meal delivery.

Finally, the types of conference-style information they want to see most from life sciences companies are prescribing and treatment guidelines, patient assistance programs, disease info, samples, and copay cards. Surprisingly, the survey showed a mixed interest in clinical trial information.

The survey provides insights on an important note for life sciences companies to consider as they navigate engagement: while 71percent feel supported by the industry, life sciences companies received an average rating when asked if they feel the industry is supporting patients. Thirty percent of NPs and PAs have received concerns from patients about obtaining medications due to fear over visiting a pharmacy or loss of job/income concerns.

The majority of NPs and PAs indicate COVID-19 has changed the way they practice for the long-term. They will continue to use telemedicine for follow ups and urgent care. When asked what the industry can do more of at this time, the ideas are insightful about what will resonate with them:

  • Provide more financial assistance to patients
  • Allow samples for pickup at the door or through mail
  • Educational materials through email
  • Support with getting masks and PPE
  • Calling patients to check in on them
  • Offering telemedicine support
  • Providing remote lunches

“In light of NPs and PAs largely shifting into areas of needs during COVID-19, the primary takeaway is that NPs and PAs will continue to act as a foundational part of our healthcare system, gaining more and more authority and autonomy everyday. Independence is growing as NPs and PAs spend more time with patients and increasingly make prescribing decisions independently. Pharma and life sciences companies have an opportunity to further incorporate NPs and PAs into their marketing plans by embracing them. POCN’s data as a service (DaaS) uncovers the correct Rx attribution based on proprietary algorithms and provides peer-to-peer and digital engagement strategies that leverages thought leaders via our Influencer Marketing platforms,” said Richard Zwickel, Founder and CEO of POCN.

To review more insights from this survey, visit the POCN Resource Center.

For more information on the opportunities and insights provided by POCN, visit

About POCN
In light of the evolving and expanding role of the NP and PA in today’s healthcare landscape, POCN is a data and influence driven engagement network with 400,000 NPs and PAs, who trust POCN to help them Learn, Earn, Care and Connect. Pharma and life sciences companies work with POCN to identify, reach and engage these important clinicians based on their patient panel (Dx & Rx), local and regional peer communities, and personal preferences to deliver branded and disease-related information in omni-channel formats. POCN’s proprietary data, insights, and commercial solutions are triggered via real-time clinical behaviors and have proven ROI. For more information, visit

Media Contacts
Ashley Moore
Jessica Garcia
Erika Beerbower