Physician and consumer confidence in the U.S. healthcare system has plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic, as has physician confidence in the leadership of healthcare organizations, according to a recent survey.
On the other hand, consumer confidence in the physicians themselves has generally been maintained during the pandemic, and responding physicians often said that their trust in nurses or physician colleagues has increased over the course of the pandemic. public health emergency.
The poll was conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago on behalf of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation. The research organization distributed its general public surveys to a sample of 2,069 adults between December 29, 2020 and January 26, 2021, and its physician survey to 600 clinicians between January 22, 2021 and February 5, 2021.
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For responding physicians, the decline in confidence in the health care system was greatest among those who already had poor vision of the system before COVID-19.
The pandemic also had a net negative impact on doctors’ confidence in health insurance companies and government health agencies, but slightly increased the overall sample’s confidence in hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.
Even outside of the context of COVID-19, about a third of doctors did not say they trusted their own organization’s leadership. About a third and half of respondents also did not report their trust in home health care providers and skilled nursing / long-term care facilities, respectively.
Among the general public, reported trust in clinical staff and hospitals was significantly higher than in healthcare organizations with less direct interaction with patients, such as insurers or pharmaceutical companies.
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Those who did not trust their doctor most often said that their practitioner had not spent enough time with them, did not know them or did not listen to them. There were also disparities in the confidence of primary physicians among different demographic groups, with confidence tending to be lower among the youngest, poorest, blacks, or Hispanics.
Almost two-thirds of consumers said they would trust their doctor enough or completely to dispense a COVID-19 vaccine. These responses were highest among Asian or White patients as well as among those who identified as Democrats.
Survey data collected by Harris Poll at the start of the pandemic similarly suggested that the public viewed nationally recognized clinical staff and hospital systems as more reliable sources of information than federal health agencies. .
Several points of view published in the December 2020 issue of JAMA also pointed out that disinformation, political interference, racial disparities and a new virus have sparked confidence in healthcare and outlined potential strategies to rebuild those relationships.