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COVID-19’s impact on patient experience

Covid-19 doctors

How COVID-19 is shaping patient experience

Press Ganey has analysed over more than 7 million patient experience survey comments from February to April 2020 which has indicated significant growth in the number of comments mentioning COVID-19.

Favourable trends surround patient’s perceptions of their interactions with physicians and staff in both loyalty and reputation measures. Overall, this indicates that patients appreciate and value the work staff are providing during the pandemic.

Unfavourable trends related to tests and treatments, however, this trend began to reverse by the end of the month. Further, many negative comments surrounded patient’s concerns around efforts being taken to ensure safety.

Positive comments: Patients value kindness and professionalism

Top themes in positive COVID-19 related patient comments include the kindness and professionalism of doctors and staff. Further, the comments also suggested strong awareness of the challenges these providers face under Covid-19 circumstances and a deep appreciation for their efforts.

Sample comments:

“As soon as we called to let the nurse know we arrived for coronavirus testing, we were immediately greeted by the doctor and nurse. It was very comforting to see how calm, kind, and concerned they were about our wellbeing.”

“This was a sick visit during the COVID-19 ramp-up. We were treated with respect and concern. Everyone involved was very professional, yet warm and encouraging.”

“The nurses and X-ray staff were efficient and tireless, even with the coronavirus scare fully underway.”

Recommendations for reinforcing strong caregiver-patient relationships:

  • Make eye contact and be aware of your body language
  • Introduce yourself and your role
  • Narrate any care that you provide
  • Always prompt the patient to share concerns

Negative comments: Concerns about safety and procedural issues

Top themes in the negative COVID-19 related comments reflected patients’ awareness that the pandemic response is influencing procedure/operational issues. The comments also outline patients’ concerns about their safety and efforts taken to uphold their welfare.

Sample comments:

“Disappointed in COVID-19 preparedness. Should be using temporal thermometer on all individuals entering, and masks given to those with temperature or other symptoms. No one bothered to spray surfaces between patients in the X-ray room. Same pillow used by multiple patients.”

“Given the presence of coronavirus, I was surprised at how tightly packed the seats are in your waiting area and how few hand sanitizer stations there were.”

Recommendations for building patient trust:

  • Pay attention to detail: Self-check using STAR (Stop, Think, Act, Review)
  • Communicate clearly: ask clarifying questions etc.
  • Speak up for safety

For further understanding of how COVID-19 is shaping the patient experience and best practices to combat these issues, access the full Press Ganey report here:

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