New Survey: COVID Vaccine Status Will Impact Willingness to Receive Care

 In Preparing for the Future

As we prepare for the rollout of the new COVID-19 vaccines, providers are already getting requests from patients and families for vaccinated caregivers. We were curious to see how strongly people felt about their providers being vaccinated, so we did a quick survey. Turns out, people feel very strongly about this. Sixty-five percent of respondents said a healthcare provider’s vaccine status will impact their willingness to receive care. More than half of respondents, 35 percent, said status will have a significant impact on their openness to care.

But, apprehension about getting vaccinated lingers among healthcare professionals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s research indicates that nearly 40 percent of care providers are hesitant to be vaccinated. In response, public health officials are stepping up efforts to build confidence in the vaccines (hopefully, much-needed consumer education campaigns will follow).

Meanwhile, providers are getting ready to step into a dynamic next wave of this pandemic, one they need to start preparing for right away.

What Should Providers Do?

Treat this like a new wave of the crisis. Consider holding a strategy session with marketing, HR, clinical operations and other key leaders. Map out scenarios and messaging for each audience. Our research  and work with providers across the country throughout the pandemic shows that communications with patients and families need to deliver on three key themes: trust, authenticity and control. And, there is a direct correlation between perceptions of quality and communications. Be open, honest and proactive in communications and you will be perceived as having higher quality care.

Craft a simple internal and external communications plan. This stage of the crisis will be similar to the first months, conditions will change quickly, and you’ll need to prepare to communicate through change. The infrastructure that served you well in the early months of the crisis will help you here, too.

There’s a cadre of new and reasonably priced digital tools and platforms to keep in touch with patients, families, staff, referrers and donors. If you’d like some suggestions, email me.

Leverage your state and national association memberships for support and clarity. Associations are doing some of their best work right now helping to remove roadblocks. They are hungry for your stories on the challenges you are facing so they can help educate elected officials on the impact of actions to support care.

You’ve Got This

It’s a testament to science and hard work that we have one, let alone two, vaccines. This is a challenge we are lucky to face. Navigating through this stage of the crisis requires thoughtful planning, transparent communication and ability to adapt to change. Thanks to all you’ve been through this year, you all have a bit of experience with this.

If you’d like some help planning your strategy session or crafting messaging and communications plan or you’d simply like a sounding board for the work your team has done, email me.

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