How Has COVID-19 Impacted Healthcare Consumers' Feelings About Hospital Safety?

The first anniversary of COVID-19 marks a grim milestone for us all. As we reflect on the losses and also the lessons learned, it’s ever-more important to evaluate the ways to effectively prepare crisis response efforts for the ongoing recovery.

Hospital-Safety-Consumer-SurveyOver the past year, consumers have been forced to adjust their daily lives and have developed a heightened awareness for the necessary safety precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones. This new normal has greatly impacted how people make decisions - creating a risk-averse mindset toward typical activities like seeking healthcare.  

To help understand the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare industry moving forward, SwipeSense conducted a survey that captures healthcare consumers’ attitudes and expectations for receiving care amidst the pandemic.

What the Healthcare Consumer Survey Results Say:

Hospital Safety is Top-of-Mind  

COVID-19 has accelerated the surge in healthcare consumerism and patients’ active involvement in choosing their healthcare. More than ever, consumers are acutely aware of the threat to infectious disease exposure and the risk of other adverse safety events, including hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). This fear has resulted in more than 40% of adults delaying essential and preventative care in fear of contracting harm within the four walls of a healthcare facility. 

Hospital Safety Technology Boosts Healthcare Consumer Confidence 

In related findings, the survey found that healthcare consumers overwhelmingly feel that the use of technology to support patient safety initiatives would increase how safe they feel receiving care – with 83% reporting they would feel safer with contact tracing technology in place. Despite this strong patient preference, many hospitals still rely on manual contact tracing for COVID-19 and other infectious outbreaks. But these antiquated methods to determine exposure are time-consuming, often unreliable, and leave staff and patients at risk.  In contrast, hospitals can leverage technology with real-time, employee-level data to automatically capture all contacts and empower faster, more accurate infection control.

As part of their ongoing commitment to deliver high-quality, safe care, Methodist Hospital of Southern California implemented the full SwipeSense safety platform, which includes Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring, Real-Time Asset Tracking, Nursing Insights, and Automated Contact Tracing modules. Even amidst the pandemic, the hospital's executive team considered the technology a critical component to support the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, while enabling them to build strong safety infrastructure for recovery and growth.  

According to Bala Chandrasekhar, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Methodist Hospital of Southern California, “before we started using automated contact tracing, the manual process took about two weeks and imprecision often resulted in healthcare workers being sent home for testing and isolation unnecessarily.” 

Remaining Vigilant to the Threat of COVID-19 is Key For Hospital Safety

In a survey conducted by Nature, 90% of infectious disease experts believe that the coronavirus will become endemic, meaning it will circulate for years. Cliff Daniels, Chief Strategy Officer at Methodist Hospital of Southern California agrees.  "Containing COVID-19 is going to be a perpetual effort. It's going to be ever important for us to remain vigilant about contact tracing and having that capability so it doesn't break out again to a pandemic or even an epidemic," says Daniels.  

As hospital leaders evaluate investments to support recovery and sustainable safety infrastructure, there’s an opportunity to connect with healthcare consumers - addressing the criteria most important to them as they choose their healthcare.

Download the full Survey Results Recap to access additional consumer insights.   

Access the Survey Results