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April 22, 2020
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David Burda
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Consumerism COVID-19 Outcomes System Dynamics
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Consumers Tell the Health System What They Think of Its COVID-19 Response

You know what I think about health system’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., and you know what our 4sight Health contributors think about it. But what do consumers think about it, which really is the only opinion that matters, if you’re an advocate of a customer revolution in healthcare.

The answer, in a word (really two words) is not much. Yet, it’s still better than how the government is managing it under President Trump, according to the respondents.

Those are the big takeaways from a survey of a representative sample of 2,004 adults conducted by NRC Health, the Lincoln, Neb.-based patient satisfaction measurement and healthcare research firm formerly known as National Research Corp. NRC surveyed the adults April 3-6 and released the results on April 9.

You can download a copy of the 12-page NRC report with the survey results here.

Here’s what your customers think of the job you’re doing:

  • 71 percent said they are “very concerned” or “extremely concerned” that their local hospital has the capacity to handle COVID-19 cases
  • 69 percent said the healthcare system as a whole is not prepared to handle the COVID-19 outbreak
  • 54 percent said they are “concerned” or “extremely concerned” about getting the medical care or the prescription medications they need during the pandemic
  • 53 percent said they or someone in their household has delayed other medical care because of the coronavirus outbreak
  • 49 percent said they are “very concerned” or “extremely concerned” about the cost of COVID-19 testing and treatment

That’s not exactly the report card that you want to bring home to your parents. Or, today, have your parents see online after they log into your student account.

But hey, at least you’re not the government. Only 13.5 percent of the respondents said they trust the federal government to handle the coronavirus outbreak. By comparison, 72.3 percent said they trust their local hospitals and health systems and national healthcare leaders to manage the crisis.

In short, your patients—your customers—trust you to get them out of this public health crisis and trust you certainly more than the federal government to do it. Now it’s time to earn that trust.

To learn more about how the health system is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, please read the following blog posts and commentaries on 4sighthealth.com:

Thanks for reading, and please stay home, stay safe and stay alive while you do.

About the Author

David Burda

David Burda began covering healthcare in 1983 and hasn’t stopped since. Dave writes this monthly column “Burda on Healthcare,” contributes weekly blog posts, manages our weekly newsletter 4sight Friday, and hosts our weekly Roundup podcast. Dave believes that healthcare is a business like any other business, and customers — patients — are king. If you do what’s right for patients, good business results will follow.

Dave’s personnel experiences with the healthcare system both as a patient and family caregiver have shaped his point of view. It’s also been shaped by covering the industry for 40 years as a reporter and editor. He worked at Modern Healthcare for 25 years, the last 11 as editor.

Prior to Modern Healthcare, he did stints at the American Medical Record Association (now AHIMA) and the American Hospital Association. After Modern Healthcare, he wrote a monthly column for Twin Cities Business explaining healthcare trends to a business audience, and he developed and executed content marketing plans for leading healthcare corporations as the editorial director for healthcare strategies at MSP Communications.

When he’s not reading and writing about healthcare, Dave spends his time riding the trails of DuPage County, IL, on his bike, tending his vegetable garden and daydreaming about being a lobster fisherman in Maine. He lives in Wheaton, IL, with his lovely wife of 40 years and his three children, none of whom want to be journalists or lobster fishermen.

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