A new report by Vizient, Inc. indicates that while telehealth services have assisted some patients in accessing care, others have found the restriction of family and caregiver presences a major barrier. The report, Connecting with Patients During Covid-19: Perspectives on Safety, summarizes focus group discussions and surveys that were conducted by Vizient between may 2020 to January 2021. In the report patients expressed feeling less safe accessing care now and a preferred face-to-face setting when visiting their primary care physician.

In a prepared statement Kellie Goodson, MS, CPXP, Performance Improvement Program director for Vizient, said, “In the focus groups, discussion regarding virtual health and the use of technology to connect patients to providers and families to their loved ones in hospitals was robust.” She added, “patients and families indicated they understand why hospitals placed restrictions on family and caregiver presence to stop the spread of the virus early in the pandemic, however, the general consensus was that patients need help and support from family members or caregivers to effectively access care and they would like health care providers to revisit these restrictions.”

The range of patient surveys and focus groups conducted by Vizient provided insights on a range of topics related to the pandemic. Patients felt safest in face-to-face settings when visiting thier primary care physician, for COVID-19 testing, and when receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 50% of those surveyed considered the emergency department, urgent care and retail clinics to be unsafe. Telehealth settings were the most popular when seeking treatment for minor illnesses. However, patients preferred to receive telehealth services, such as video, text, email, or telephone visits from their existing providers rather than a new one. Of the patients surveyed 87% indicated that they will get vaccinated, with older respondents more likely than younger ones. Of those who indicated they would get the vaccine, 56% said they would do so as soon as it became available to them, with males more likely to seek immediate vaccination than females. Respondents aged 45 and up were more likely to get the vaccine as soon as it was available compaired with respondents under 45.

Vizient is a services-led, analytics-enabled health care performance improvement company that partners with its member health care organizations to provide important insights to improve patient care. Access the report here.

About Vizient, Inc.

Vizient, Inc. provides solutions and services that improve the delivery of high-value care by aligning cost, quality and market performance for more than 50% of the nation’s acute care providers, which includes 95% of the nation’s academic medical centers, and more than 20% of ambulatory care providers. Vizient provides expertise, analytics and advisory services, as well as a contract portfolio that represents more than $100 billion in annual purchasing volume, to improve patient outcomes and lower costs. Vizient has earned a World’s Most Ethical Company designation from the Ethisphere Institute every year since its inception. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Vizient has offices throughout the United States. Learn more at www.vizientinc.com.

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