Physicians expect new conditions and health risks to come

We are all facing a very different world in 2021. 

No one is more aware of this than physicians, many of whom spent the last year on the front lines treating patients with COVID-19. For all physicians—from the ER to private practice—2021 will bring new conditions, new technology and an adjustment to a new normal.   

What’s New in 2021? 

  • Physicians say they expect 2021 to bring new conditions and health risks. In fact, 90% of physicians polled on February 7 and 8 told Sermo that they believed it will be important to make screenings to detect cardiovascular damage a routine part of follow-up care for COVID-19 patients. Based on scientific and anecdotal research, 93% of them fear the pandemic could lead to an increase in cases of heart failure. 
  • Mental health will also be a focus for all physicians in 2021. One Sermo COVID-19 Real Time Barometer survey, fielded January 8 to 13, demonstrated that physicians believe mental health issues and depression would be the biggest non-COVID-19 public health issue after the pandemic.  
  • Telehealth is here to stay according to physicians. In Sermo’s HCP Sentiment Survey, fielded July 31 to August 6, physicians said they expected telehealth to make up twice the amount of patient interactions as before the pandemic. Interestingly, they said that one aspect of virtual patient meetings that has changed since the early days of the pandemic is that now fewer nurses are participating in telehealth appointments.   

Physicians Remain Resilient 

Of course, the pandemic will leave lasting scars. Nearly half (42%) of physicians surveyed said their practices will never bounce back to pre-pandemic level. Many, however, are doing everything in their power to reach their patients, with everything from COVID vigilance to new office policies. Physicians are resilient. And they are doing everything they can in 2021 to help their patients be the same.