Our Panel’s Thoughts on Telemedicine

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, many members of the medical community find themselves thrust headlong into the world of telemedicine. With patients no longer able or willing to visit their doctor’s office, practices are using the opportunity to try out telemedicine.

Reckner Healthcare Surveys was curious about what our Panel members were experiencing, so we sent out a survey to the group.  More than 1,000 Healthcare Professionals (HCP) responded, sharing their observations, opinions, and advice about telemedicine.

Infographic 5So, how is telemedicine being used? And, is it a game-changer or a necessary development?

Opinions varied widely, but there were several common threads expressed throughout the responses we received:

  1. Its usefulness depends upon specialty.
  2. It’s no substitute for a physical examination in many instances.
  3. It’s likely to be a larger part of medical practice going forward for certain fields and circumstances.

As expected, prior to Covid-19, the vast majority of patient interactions were conducted in person. Since then, that number has been cut by more than half, replaced by patient interactions by phone and video, which have increased 7 times and 15 times respectively.

Infographic 4As phone and video interactions became more prevalent, HCPs observed that patient interactions are generally shorter in length than in-person visits (61% shorter for telephone; 47% shorter for video). However, about 40% of those responding said both video and telephone visits were about the same length as in-person.

Regarding the future use of telemedicine, 75% of HCPs think the use of telemedicine will increase in the future, although 25% think it will go back to pre-pandemic rates.

Infographic 7

As for employing telemedicine in your practice, our Healthcare Panel offered both advice and caution, which typically fell into five categories:

 Use it appropriately

  • Usefulness depends upon specialty
  • Better for existing patients
  • Useful for follow-ups and refills
  • No substitute for a physical exam

Worth Trying

  • It’s a way to care for patients in today’s environment
  • Its use will certainly grow in the future
  • Some patients will need or demand it

Can be Helpful

  • Useful for rural areas, elderly patients, busy patients, and follow-up visits
  • Can be a more efficient way to “see” patients, depending on patient need/ visit requirements

Be Organized

  • The staff has to be engaged in preparing patients for each visit
  • Set patient expectations (e.g. set up required, payments, length of visit, what can and can’t be accomplished)
  • Use HIPAA compliant platform, ideally, one that connects with EMR and is easy for patients to use

Be Careful

  • Insurance reimbursement/documentation important
  • Diagnosis errors/malpractice issues
  • Patient’s acceptance
  • HIPAA compliance and data security

One final tip: The AMA has shared a useful guide for telemedicine in practice covering implementation, policies, coding, and other helpful resources. The guide can be found here.


Why do Market Research?

There’s no doubt that participating in healthcare market research is a great way to supplement your income. But many of our Panelists derive other benefits from participating in surveys or interviews. In the last issue of our quarterly e-newsletter we asked you what you enjoyed most about it (aside from the financial benefit) and 675 of you responded. Here’s what you had to say:

Poll Graph for Fall 2019 poll e-newsletter - final

You Never Write, You Never Call

In 2019 there were 18,943 of you who participated in online, telephone, or in-person studies with Reckner. Thank you for being an active member of Reckner’s esteemed Healthcare Panel.

Doctor On Phone Shocked Stock Photos- Pictures - Royalty-Free Images - iStock 1-27-2020 5-07-05 PMSome of you may be thinking, “Well, I would have participated if I had received an email or call.” And we believe you!

Here are some common reasons why you may not be receiving invitations or as many as you would like, and some things you can do to increase your chances.

  1. Whitelist: On your end, be sure you have whitelisted (safe senders list) research@reckner.com and reckner.com since that is the domain from which we send study invitations. We don’t want to end up caught in your spam filter.

  2. Update contact information: We use email, telephone, and occasionally snail mail to recruit for studies. If you have any changes to your email, phone number, or address, please send that along to research@reckner.com.

  3. If the telephone number you gave us is an office number, be sure those answering the phone know to pass a call from Reckner on to you. For online surveys, you will likely receive an email. For phone or in-person interviews, we will likely call you.

  4.  Some specialties are more in demand than others. Please note that if there are no surveys available for your area of specialty, you will not be contacted. Be patient and eventually, you will receive an invitation.

Reckner Gives Back


Oak Creek Approved PhotographThe Oak Creek, Wisconsin office of Reckner raised funds for a group of students at Oak Creek High School in December. Ange Tingwald, Facility Manager, organized the drive, which provided 22 students with gifts and gift cards. Additionally, the Reckner team put together stockings for each of the students stuffed with candy, gum, fuzzy socks for the young ladies, and cologne for the young men. 

Chalfont Giving Back 2019In the Chalfont, Pennsylvania office, Senior Project Manager Anna Cunningham organized our annual Holiday sharing program. The Reckner team purchased gifts and contributed funds to buy gift cards for a local family: a local single mom and her four children.  Anna was thrilled with how generous the Reckner staff was and said, ”With everyone’s help, we were able to get every gift on their list including winter coats for all four kids.”

Celebrating Evelyn Morawski

Evelyn's going away party
Pictured L-R: Lexy Frazier, Jason Gamber, Evelyn Morawski, David Reckner, and Linda Diehl.

For those of you on the Healthcare Panel who have interacted with our survey recruiters, you will likely have spoken to Evelyn Morawski, who retired in December after 24 years of service. The staff gathered on December 11 to surprise Evelyn with a luncheon and cake. We wish her well in her well-deserved retirement. 

If you follow Reckner Healthcare on social media you have probably seen posts about multiple staff members celebrating double-digit anniversaries. Perhaps this is the result of being a family-owned and operated business for the past 30 years, or at the very least, a testament to a positive work environment and committed employees!

Face to Face: the Rewards of In-Person Interviews

A small but growing portion of Reckner’s research work takes the form of in-person interviews. Generally, you would be invited to meet with a researcher at a centrally located facility and discuss a specific topic, typically for an hour.

The honoraria for in-person interviews are higher than other types of research to compensate for the additional time it takes to travel to and from a facility.

Our panelists who participate in these types of interviews enjoy the personal nature of them and the fact that there’s more opportunity for them to elaborate on a topic, sharing in detail their specific expertise. The interviewers are well-versed on the topics and the conversations can be quite engaging.

If you are specifically interested in signing up for in-person interviews, please email bandrachick@reckner.com.

These types of interviews can occur anywhere, but we are currently focusing on Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.

Charting New Territory: Six Tips for Maximizing Patient Chart Research

In a recent survey, we asked members of our Healthcare Panel about their experiences with Patient Chart Research. This methodology is useful for researchers as it is based on real-life cases, not hypothetical scenarios. Using anonymized data, these studies can be either online or by telephone, with the majority being online.

One important reason Reckner’s Panelists like to do Patient Chart Research is because they want their opinions to be counted. They also want to contribute to innovation in their field and learn about new treatments in the pipeline. Some say it is “fun” and others like “looking through records,” “improving patient outcomes,” and “feeling like I can make a difference.”

Patient Chart Research can be rewarding for those who prepare ahead and set aside uninterrupted time.

So the next time you accept a Patient Chart study, remember these useful tips from members of Reckner’s Healthcare Panel.

  • It is helpful to prepare ahead of time by reviewing the questionnaire and pulling and reviewing appropriate charts before starting the survey.
  • Many Panelists (40%) prefer to toggle back and forth on one device; 31% prefer to use two devices like a desktop and a tablet; and 14% prefer to print out the charts.
  • In any case, it is critical to be able to access the charts while doing the study.
  • Allow enough time to do the study in one sitting; avoid interruptions.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the patient and adhere to HIPAA.
  • Accuracy is critical. As one Panelist said, “Try your best to be accurate in the information you provide since that is very helpful in the advancement of therapy and management of our patients.”  Another concurred, “Be patient, always be honest…if technology is failing you—don’t guess, just end session. The only information that can help is accurate information.”

While Patient Chart Research can be required by a variety of fields, there is particular need in the areas of oncology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, dermatology, and plastic surgery.

The next time you are invited to participate in this kind of research, give it a try and keep these helpful tips in mind.

New to Reckner’s Panel?

You’ve taken the step to register for the Healthcare Panel. Now what?

On our end, it takes us a bit of time to verify registrations, but once that’s complete, you’ll enter the pool for studies that are a match with your expertise and experience. We conduct both online surveys, telephone interviews, and in-person interviews.

On your end, be sure you have whitelisted research@reckner.com since that is the email address we use to send study invitations. For some studies we may also call you. If you have any changes to your email, phone number, or address, please send that along to research@reckner.com.

If you’re new to research, another thing to note is that each study will start with a series of questions called a screener. These vary in length, but are designed to ensure that the study’s research objectives are met and that the participants meet the requirements of the research. Not qualifying for any study in no way reflects upon you or your professionalism.

If at any time you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to us at research@reckner.com. We take your participation with us seriously and want to be sure we continue to treat you with the utmost respect and regard.

Tell a Colleague

We’re always looking to grow our Healthcare Panel as we continue to bring on new clients and develop new business. Rest assured, there are plenty of research opportunities and adding new Panelists won’t affect your continuing to receive invitations.

Please help us spread the word to your colleagues. We need physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, office managers, and other practice administrators and the specialties listed below are among the highest in demand. Send interested healthcare professionals to our website to register today!

SPECIALTIES IN DEMAND

Introducing Respondent First™

In our 28-year history of healthcare market research, Reckner leadership and staff members have always fostered a sense of deep respect and appreciation for members of our Healthcare Panel. We realize that time is precious and we work hard to provide a smooth and seamless experience when you choose to participate in Reckner surveys.

We often reach out to members of our panel to see how we’re doing and what we could be doing better. This exploration has led us to our philosophy of Respondent First™, the capstone of what we strive to achieve on a daily basis. To our panelists: thank you for working with us and to those considering working with us, please see what we stand for. Thank you!

Respondent first Reckher Healthcare Surveys describes the care that Reckner takes with its healthcare panel.