Eight out of 10 Hoosiers are very concerned about seeking care at a nursing home, hospital or after-hours emergency clinic, and nearly 60% would postpone elective surgery until after the pandemic, according to a recently conducted statewide poll. While more than 40% of Hoosiers would immediately seek life-saving treatment at a hospital emergency department, nearly 50% would hesitate before going, and 8% responded that they would handle their emergency on their own.
The survey of 700 Hoosiers, which was conducted in May by a partnership of healthcare consultants, CVR and Carmichael & Company, assessed COVID-19 awareness and subsequent fears in seeking care among a spectrum of providers ranging from hospitals to physician offices. While fears were higher for nursing homes, hospitals and stand-alone after-hour clinics, one-third surveyed had equally high levels of fear regarding care at pharmacy clinics, free-standing surgery centers and even physician offices.
“Healthcare providers can’t assume patients will immediately return to pre-COVID-19 behaviors when it comes to their health,” said Julie Carmichael, President of Carmichael & Company. “While a small percentage will, it will take a well-designed and executed comprehensive safety communication strategy to assure existing and new patients. Building patient confidence is not only important from a business perspective, but it is critical for the long-term health of Indiana communities.”
“The survey confirmed that implementing both safe-practice communications and behaviors within the care environment are important,” said Kevin Flynn, President and CEO of CVR, an Indianapolis-based marketing firm. “Hoosiers want to hear and see proof about safe practices. This goes beyond just posting safe COVID-19 policies on the front door of offices.”