The healthcare and pharmaceutical market research company Manhattan Research, has established that three out of four nurses recommend health websites to the patients they tend to.  The study focused on the nurses’ preferred technologies, how they are implementing them now, and how they plan to continue utilizing them in the future.  This study was conducted online among a sample of 1001 U.S. nurses and physician assistants.

It was discovered that nurses are very knowledgeable about health technology.  Normally, and just the same as a doctor, a nurse spends around eight hours a week surfing the Internet for professional reasons.  Most of this time is in between patient consultations.  Also, nurses proved to be very active and interested in learning about medical product information online; more than eighty percent have clicked on biotech, pharma or device companies’ websites during the last year, especially Merck, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis and Eli Lilly.

Even though marketing departments and pharmaceutical consultancy firms are aware of the importance of nurses in patients’ health care choices, it has been hard to pinpoint an effective way of taking advantage of this situation, until now.  Manhattan Research’s study clearly presents the big opportunity the Internet is.  It is a key element to influence and connect with nurses, and thus, reach patients directly and effectively.

Among the topics analyzed in the study are:

–    Technology and Internet use for professional purposes, including email, websites visited, search engines used, wikis, social networking sites, HCP online communities, newsletters, blogs and podcasts
–    Channel mix, what sources are preferred for professional information and the use or interest in pharmaceutical website features
–    Email use and opportunity, how they communicate with patients
–    Patient interaction and education, the source of patient education materials, the recommended websites and influence on treatment decisions
–    Handheld devices, the frequency, professional functions, clinical references and preferred points of access
–    Practice technology, electronic prescribing, EMR use and activities
–    Continuing education, current and future way to do it (online, mobile, traditional), websites used
–    Practice profile, work setting, number of patients seen and number of prescriptions written

This is a study worth reading.  For more information on the results, visit

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