According to a new consumer survey from Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX), about 50% of Americans say they’re likely to avoid going to the hospital for care over fears of catching COVID-19 or another virus and due to concerns over the impact of staffing shortages. To improve the hospital experience, 54% of Americans say more nurses are needed, and 70% say hospitals need to improve physical security.
“It’s concerning that Americans are avoiding hospital visits due to fears about the impacts of labor shortages on patient care, coupled with concerns about virus exposure and their physical safety,” said Chrystie Leonard, General Manager, GHX Vendormate. “Given today’s soaring labor costs and staffing shortages, the solution is not as simple as hiring more clinicians. Hospitals can significantly improve the time devoted to patient care by investing in automation to alleviate the administrative burden on staff.”
According to a report from Health Affairs, the number of registered nurses in the U.S. saw the biggest drop in 40 years, with the profession losing 100,000 workers in 2021. According to another source, reasons nurses cited for leaving hospitals include frustrations with staffing as well as feeling that hospitals are not sufficiently concerned with their health and well-being. With the healthcare labor shortage expected to continue in 2023, hospitals can turn toward technology-enabled solutions to unlock cost savings and reduce burnout and stress among healthcare workers.
Additional Key Survey Takeaways
· 39% of respondents would avoid going to a hospital because they are concerned about violence.
· Over one-third of Americans are worried, as patients or for loved ones who are patients, about not seeing the right medical staff and/or not getting enough time with doctors and/or nurses due to staffing issues.
· 36% of respondents are worried as patients or for loved ones who are patients about getting an infection while recovering.
· About half of all respondents point to the need to add clinical and administrative staff as the strategy most likely to improve hospital visits as a patient or visitor:
· 54% say add more nurses.
· 48% say add more support staff.
· 46% say add more doctors.
This online survey was fielded by Regina Corso Consulting on behalf of GHX in November 2022. The survey collected responses from 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older and delivered demographic insights related to income, gender and differing perceptions between those who had received care or visited a hospital in the last year and those who hadn’t. Survey respondents are balanced to be representative of the U.S. collectively based on 2020 Census data.