Threats of Violence, Infection Scaring Away Hospital Patients

70 percent of survey respondents say hospitals need to improve physical security.

By HFT Staff
December 19, 2022

About one-half of Americans say they are likely to avoid going to the hospital for care over fears of catching COVID-19 or another virus and due to concerns over the impact of staffing shortages, according to a new consumer survey from Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX). To improve the hospital experience, 54 percent of Americans say more nurses are needed, and 70 percent say hospitals need to improve physical security.   

The number of registered nurses in the United States saw the biggest drop in 40 years, with the profession losing 100,000 workers in 2021, according to a report from Health Affairs.  

Additional key takeaways from the GHX survey: 

  • 39 percent of respondents would avoid going to a hospital because they are concerned about violence. 
  • Over one-third of Americans are worried, as patients or for loved ones who are patients, about not seeing the right medical staff or not getting enough time with doctors or nurses due to staffing issues. 
  • 36 percent of respondents are worried as patients or for loved ones who are patients about getting an infection while recovering. 
  • About one-half of all respondents point to the need to add clinical and administrative staff as the strategy most likely to improve hospital visits as a patient or visitor, with 54 percent saying add more nurses, 48 percent saying add more support staff and 46 percent saying add more doctors. 

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