COVID-19Hospitals

More than half of patients feel somewhat safe about returning for elective procedures

May 29, 2020 / Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

As the surge in COVID-19 patients begins to recede in some areas of the country, hospitals are considering when and how to resume elective procedures. But healthcare consumers may behave in unexpected ways. Health systems may overestimate how quickly or easily patients will want to move forward with their elective procedures, and it will likely require time and resources for physicians to convince patients to do so.

Those are the conclusions drawn by Vizient in a recent webinar panel discussion with patient and family advisors — patients and family members who have received care at healthcare organizations and who partner with them to improve quality, safety and the patient experience. Administrators, clinicians and staff engage PFAs through Patient and Family Advisory Councils.

Patients will most likely come back to their elective procedures in waves, Vizient found. The initial wave of patients will include those pining to move forward no matter the risk (oncology patients, patients impaired in their activities of daily living or those in pain), followed by a second wave that may feel safe because of their perceived low personal risk or need for a low-risk procedure with little follow-up.

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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Surgio Health as well as Chief Operating Officer at Ortho Spine Partners. Prior to that, he was the assistant vice president and business unit leader of Medical Device Management for HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG).

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