Patients reveal insights about safely accessing care during the pandemic

Feb. 23, 2021

Vizient, Inc. released a report indicating that telehealth aids in accessing care for some patients while restriction of family and caregiver presence during the pandemic is a major barrier for others, announced Vizient in a press release.

The report, Connecting With Patients During COVID-19: Perspectives on Safety, is a summary of focus group discussions and pulse surveys conducted by Vizient from May 2020 through January 2021. Highlights include patients and families feeling less safe accessing care now since the start of the pandemic. When having to access care, the most preferred face-to-face setting remains visits in their primary care physician’s office while telehealth remains the most preferred setting when seeking care for minor illnesses.

The latest survey, conducted in December, included approximately 600 respondents. Additionally, Vizient hosted four focus groups that included 24 patients from 11 Vizient member healthcare organizations to gather perspective on their experience engaging with providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key takeaways from the surveys include insights on:

·        Preferred care settings: Patients seek settings that limit their exposure to COVID-19 and feel safest going to their primary care physician’s office for face-to-face visits, for COVID-19 testing and to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The emergency department, freestanding urgent care and retail clinic settings are not considered safe settings in which to receive care by more than 50 percent of patients and families surveyed.

·         Telehealth: When seeking care for minor illnesses, telehealth remains the preferred setting. However, patients want their existing providers to offer telehealth as part of routine, follow-up and chronic care management. Video visits and text, email or telephone visits with an existing provider are by far the most preferred method of receiving virtual care when compared with using these types of visits with a new provider.

·         Vaccinations: The vast majority of patients and families surveyed indicate they will get vaccinated (87 percent), with older respondents much more likely to get the vaccine than younger respondents. Fifty-six percent of patients and families who indicate they will get vaccinated will do so as soon as the vaccine is available to them, with males more likely than females to get the vaccine as soon as possible. Those over the age of 45 are also more likely to get the vaccine as soon as its available compared with those who are under 45.

Vizient has the release.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.