September 01, 2020
COVID-19 testing is not only critical for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, but is also a key component to getting the pandemic under control and reopening our state. COVID-19 testing is the responsibility of our entire health care system, and physicians are a critical component of ensuring the right individuals are tested, at the right place and at the right time.
To better understand the physician experience with COVID-19 testing, the California Medical Association and California COVID-19 Testing Taskforce partnered to conduct a survey of California physicians.
The survey results highlight the immediate need for improvements in the testing supply chain, timelier test processing, and better data and reporting of COVID-19 test results. Key survey results show:
- Widespread challenges obtaining necessary supplies to collect COVID-19 specimens, with 73% of physicians having trouble obtaining test collection kits or personal protective equipment.
- Pervasive problems getting test results in a timely manner when tests are sent out to a third-party lab for processing. Only 24% of tests are ready in 48 hours when processed by a third party, compared to 91% of tests processed on-site.
- A breakdown in the feedback loop to physicians, with 4 out of 10 physicians not consistently receiving their patient’s COVID-19 molecular test results.
In a period of eight days, almost 800 physician practices responded to the survey, representing all modes of practice in a broad range of specialties across 45 counties.
Click here to view the full survey results.