PQS COVID-19 Insights Report Uncovers Comfort Levels of Testing, Treatment at Pharmacy Settings

Consumers report a very high level of comfort with COVID-19 testing at community pharmacies and was similar to the level of comfort respondents reported among hospitals and urgent care facilities.

Pharmacy Quality Solutions (PQS) presented a sneak preview of the 2020 Trend Report in Pharmacy Quality that provided coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) insights on testing and treatment during the 2020 PQA Annual Meeting on May 14. The results of their findings can be found in the 2020 Trend Report in Pharmacy Quality Preview — COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Insights.

When presenting the findings, Todd Sega, PQS SVP of Development and Strategy, highlighted patient comfort levels of testing and treatment for COVID-19 at various health care settings. The health care settings included community pharmacies with drive-thru capability, community pharmacies without drive-thru capability, hospitals, urgent care facilities, and primary care provider offices.

Sega added, “We released this preview early, because we believed our COVID-19 questions and the responses provided would be beneficial to pharmacies this summer as they prepare for immunizations and potential COVID testing.”

The following questions were asked:

If you suspected exposure to the coronavirus (i.e. COVID-19) and rapid testing was available, what level of comfort would you have in receiving testing at the following health care settings?

If you had a confirmed diagnosis of the Coronavirus (i.e. COVID-19) and treatment was available, what level of comfort would you have in receiving treatment at the following health care settings?

The panel of consumers invited to participate in the survey were those over the age of 18 and who also reported visiting a pharmacy in the past 12 months. An online invitation to participate in the survey was sent to 2484 consumers across the United States.

Of those who started the survey, approximately 44% completed it, for a total of 999 completed surveys. A demographic breakdown showed that 58% of the respondents were female; 52% were aged 35-64 years; and 75% lived in the Midwest, Northeast, or Southeast. Other pertinent information from respondents indicated that 46% reported going to a retail chain pharmacy and 61% visited the pharmacy at least monthly.

Consumer survey results showed:

  • Respondents reported being more comfortable receiving COVID-19 testing vs treatment for all site types, with the exception of hospitals where there was no difference in comfort levels.
  • Overall, consumers reported a very high level of comfort with COVID-19 testing at community pharmacies and was similar to the level of comfort respondents reported among hospitals and urgent care facilities.
  • Respondents reported being more comfortable receiving testing at a pharmacy with a drive-thru vs one without a drive-thru.
  • Respondents reported being more comfortable receiving treatment at a pharmacy with a drive-thru vs a pharmacy without a drive-thru.
  • Respondents who indicated the use of mail order as their primary type of pharmacy indicated they were less likely to be comfortable receiving COVID-19 testing compared with respondents who visited a physical pharmacy on a monthly basis.
  • Consumers who frequently visited pharmacies without drive-thrus 3 or more times in a month showed higher levels of comfort in COVID-19 testing compared with consumers who might visit a pharmacy once a month or fewer than 12 times a year.

“When you look at the chart for Comfort with COVID-19 Testing and Treatment by Site in the pre-release of the report, you can see that the majority of respondents reported being comfortable or very comfortable with testing at community pharmacies and the level of comfort was even higher among pharmacies with a drive-thru,” Sega added. “With the strong level of comfort and trust among pharmacists, coupled with their accessibility, it underscores how well community pharmacy is positioned to serve their communities during the pandemic.”

Respondents’ reported level of comfort with COVID-19 testing and treatment at a pharmacy with a drive-thru was further assessed based on the type of pharmacy at which the respondent frequented. Options included grocery stores with a pharmacy, retail chain, mass merchant with a pharmacy, independent pharmacy, clinic outpatient pharmacy, mail order, N/A -no meds and other.

  • Among respondents frequenting grocery store, retail chain, and mass merchant pharmacies, they reported more comfort with testing at a pharmacy with a drive-thru vs receiving treatment, but the level of comfort remained high across all types of pharmacies.
  • Regardless of which pharmacy respondents frequented, they had similar comfort levels with receiving COVID-19 testing or treatment at a pharmacy with a drive-thru.

Other insights from the report include data charts graphing Comfort with COVID-19 Testing by Site & Gender and Comfort with COVID-19 Testing by Site & Age.

The COVID-19 report will also be included in the second annual PQS Trend Report. The PQS Trend Report in Pharmacy Quality for 2020 will highlight trends and changes in behavior related to pharmacist-provided services compared to 2019. The full 2020 Trend Report is estimated to be completed by August 2020.

The report was designed to help payer and pharmacy communities recognize trends, challenges, and opportunities related to quality improvement. It also serves as a recommendation to further enhance the understanding of how patients recognize the value of pharmacy and its role in the future of health care.

For a more in-depth interview with Todd Sega, PQS SVP of Development and Strategy, about the COVID-19 findings and the upcoming 2020 Trend Report, the PQS Quality Corner Show recently released episode 28 of their podcast entitled, “PQS Trend Report: Pre-release Highlights.” You can listen at pharmacyquality.buzzsprout.com.

For the full report, please download the 2020 Trend Report in Pharmacy Quality Preview — COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Insights.

PQS is also seeking feedback and contributions for future reports. Please email trendreport@pharmacyquality.com with your ideas.

SOURCE: Pharmacy Quality Solutions