Vizient releases perspectives from patient and families on accessing care during pandemic

Nov. 3, 2020

Vizient, Inc, and its subsidiary company Sg2, released an updated summary, “Connecting With Patients During COVID-19: Perspectives on Safety,” which includes perspectives from a series of activities with patient and family advisors (PFAs) conducted in May, July and September on the safety of healthcare services, specifically elective procedures, and how they will make decisions in the “new normal.”

“Not surprisingly, the biggest concern of patients and families continues to be catching COVID-19 while accessing care. Because of this nervousness, healthcare consumers may not behave the way we expect. They might say one thing but do another – or more specifically, they might say ‘yes, I feel safe accessing care’ yet they will not actually seek care,” said Kellie Goodson, MS, CPXP, director, performance improvement networks for Vizient. “The latest survey findings demonstrate the important, trusted role that physicians play as patients return to care.”

PFAs are patients and family members who have received care at healthcare organizations and who partner with them to improve health care quality, safety and the patient experience. Healthcare administrators, clinicians and staff engage PFAs through Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs). By engaging PFAs/PFACs, providers can effectively integrate patient and family feedback into strategic planning aimed at the safety of healthcare service delivery.

Vizient invited PFAs from across the country to participate in a webinar and two surveys to provide their thoughts regarding health care delivery preferences in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent survey, conducted in September, had more than 120 PFA participants with 88 percent from urban/suburban locations and 12 percent from small/rural areas. The findings noted that the biggest concern for patients and families seeking health care continues to be contracting the virus.

Other insights include:

·        Patients and families feel safest visiting their doctor’s office versus the ED, urgent care, and retail care settings

·         Telehealth is the preferred method of receiving care, but not from new providers – patients and families want their existing doctor to provide these services

·         For patients and families to feel safe receiving in-person preventive screenings (e.g., mammography, colonoscopy), they want to hear directly from their current doctor about it

“By connecting with PFAs/PFACs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vizient has learned that open, honest and frequent communication will be required to build trust with patients and families and, honoring the relationship between a patient and their doctor may accelerate the utilization of elective health care services,” said Goodson.

Vizient, Inc. has the release.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.