IRVING, Texas (BUSINESS WIRE), February 22, 2021 - Vizient, Inc. today released a report indicating that telehealth aids in accessing care for some patients while restriction of family and caregiver presence during the pandemic is a major barrier for others. The report, Connecting With Patients During COVID-19: Perspectives on Safety, is a summary of focus group discussions and pulse surveys conducted by Vizient from May 2020 through January 2021. Highlights include patients and families feeling less safe accessing care now since the start of the pandemic. When having to access care, the most preferred face-to-face setting remains visits in their primary care physician’s office while telehealth remains the most preferred setting when seeking care for minor illnesses. The full report can be accessed here.

The latest survey, conducted in December, included approximately 600 respondents. Additionally, Vizient hosted four focus groups that included 24 patients from 11 Vizient member health care organizations to gather perspective on their experience engaging with providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” said Kellie Goodson, MS, CPXP, Performance Improvement Program director for Vizient. “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.”

Key takeaways from the surveys include insights on:

Preferred care settings: Patients seek settings that limit their exposure to COVID-19 and feel safest going to their primary care physician’s office for face-to-face visits, for COVID-19 testing and to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The emergency department, freestanding urgent care and retail clinic settings are not considered safe settings in which to receive care by more than 50% of patients and families surveyed.

Telehealth: When seeking care for minor illnesses, telehealth remains the preferred setting. However, patients want their existing providers to offer telehealth as part of routine, follow-up and chronic care management. Video visits and text, email or telephone visits with an existing provider are by far the most preferred method of receiving virtual care when compared with using these types of visits with a new provider.

Vaccinations: The vast majority of patients and families surveyed indicate they will get vaccinated (87%), with older respondents much more likely to get the vaccine than younger respondents. Fifty-six percent of patients and families who indicate they will get vaccinated will do so as soon as the vaccine is available to them, with males more likely than females to get the vaccine as soon as possible. Those over the age of 45 are also more likely to get the vaccine as soon as its available compared with those who are 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


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