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Healthcare organizations have met the COVID-19 pandemic with uncanny agility. The solutions they’ve devised to protect their customers have not only met the needs of the moment—they’re likely to reshape the industry for years to come.

Read the full article with insights from OHSU, Cedars-Sinai Health, OrlandoHealth, Harris Health System, WellStar, Summit Medical Group, and Sanford Health.

The American coronavirus crisis is only a few months old. But already, the pandemic is fundamentally reshaping our lives. Its blistering pace and dire consequences have forced every part of the economy to make some extraordinary concessions—healthcare, perhaps, most of all.

Whereas some aspects of life will resume as before once COVID-19 is behind us, many of the changes observed in the healthcare system are likely to endure.

The virus’s acuity has served as a catalyst for healthcare’s evolution. By exposing the industry’s vulnerabilities, and revealing a few new strengths, the coronavirus has accelerated trends that have been emerging for years.

Read about three industry-wide developments that COVID-19 has thrust into the spotlight.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, there are promising signs that the worst may be behind us. Fear over the virus is gradually easing its grip on American public affairs, and NRC Health’s surveys have detected new notes of optimism in consumer sentiment.

The situation remains delicate, however. As health systems begin to resume normal services, they may benefit from examining consumers’ concerns and adjusting their approach to meet them.

To that end, a few of NRC Health’s most pertinent findings are outlined here. →

March 23, 2020
By Dr. Jen Volland, PhD

Members of the entire healthcare team, across all settings, are now stepping up to support patients as they cope with the coronavirus. In doing so, they are increasingly finding themselves providing emotional support beyond the level at which they’d provided it in the past. In addition, workers in a “behind the scenes” capacity—such as lab technicians—are having to keep up with their daily routines in addition to the changes to their day brought about by the virus. For all of these workers, expectations of productivity are at an all-time high—but across our nation, they are doing an amazing job treating the unprecedented influx of patients and getting through their day-to-day work while putting their own concerns second.

Still, physician burnout remains a serious concern in the United States. Even before the pandemic it was a major issue: according to pre-pandemic statistics, patients who need the highest levels of medical management for complex chronic conditions experience, on average, at least four of their physicians going through burnout at a time. And today, those patients are often those considered to be at highest risk for virus-related hospitalization.

NRC Health has long been at the forefront on topics of workforce engagement, provider engagement, and burnout. Click here to learn a few ideas on how to prevent healthcare-worker burnout during this crucial time. →

April 16, 2020

The coronavirus epidemic, perhaps more than any other recent event, has underscored the unique role that healthcare organizations play in their communities.

It’s shown us that consumers aren’t just turning to health systems when they’re ill. They’re also looking to healthcare organizations for guidance, leadership, and managerial competence in the face of crisis.

But how can health-system leaders best demonstrate these qualities? Aside from caring for the sick, how should healthcare organizations demonstrate that they’re here for their communities and ready to marshal their resources to protect the public?

The precise answers to those questions will, of course, depend on the community under discussion. NRC Health’s nationwide survey data, however, has yielded some important observations about what all Americans want from their healthcare providers. These points may be useful for health-system leaders to consider as they plan their response to COVID-19.

Read more →

April 15, 2020

This podcast is designed to provide resources, share the love stories and encourage those who are overseeing the care of aging adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe in you!

Listen →

April 15, 2020

On behalf of its dedicated Associates, NRC Health, the leading provider of in-depth customer intelligence in healthcare, is donating 10,000 face shields to support American healthcare workers who are fighting on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In partnership with Lincoln-based company Higher Order Innovation, which manufactures educational robotics, NRC Health will deliver the face shields to hospitals and senior living facilities across the country over the next two weeks. In addition to the donation of face shields, NRC Health is also making a $10,000 contribution to the Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund hosted by the Lincoln Community Foundation.

“We are honored to be able to support caregivers across the nation who are risking their lives to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kevin Karas, NRC Health Chief Financial Officer. “Our partners represent some of the finest people in the healthcare industry, and we are humbled to join forces with Higher Order Innovation to be able to assist, even in this small way, the people who are working tirelessly to ensure our safety.”

Higher Order Innovation altered its manufacturing operations to produce nearly 10,000 face shields in just 10 days, while NRC Health donated production and distribution costs.

“We cannot thank healthcare workers enough for the risks they are taking and the sacrifices they are making for our communities during this unprecedented outbreak,” said Dr. Tom Frederick, Higher Order Innovation founder and CEO. “As a token of our appreciation, we are proud to manufacture face shields for the protection of healthcare workers as they continue to dedicate themselves on the front lines of this global pandemic.”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, NRC Health has prioritized efforts to support healthcare workers and the Lincoln community, including cheering on local staff and caregivers during shift changes and mobilizing efforts to support local elementary schools with reusable bag donations for students.

To learn more about the Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund hosted by the Lincoln Community Foundation, visit here.

April 13, 2020

During times of change, it can be difficult to stay consistent with previously established patterns of improvement. When new steps that didn’t exist before are introduced into processes, it’s analogous to adding another variable into an equation that didn’t exist previously and was left unaccounted for—it can have a positive impact, or a negative one.

The coronavirus is impacting hospitals greatly, whether they’re currently working through the epidemic or gearing up for what may be ahead. Many hospitals have been stretched to their limits, and as a result it’s inevitable that some things will drop off as our heroes—nurses, doctors, pharmacists, lab technicians, environmental-service professionals, and others—are not only increasingly drawn to the frontlines, but are also needed for extended periods of time and extra shifts. Some tasks that typically reside with nursing may need to change in the interim, to free up adequate staff.

NRC Health’s Transitions program leverages technology to help identify those patients most in need of help in the critical 24–72 hours post-discharge. It does this by reporting patient-level assessment data, so that patients’ issues can be quickly and efficiently resolved by the care team. Tracking, trending, and benchmarking data isolates key areas for process improvement, allowing organizations to make the necessary changes to reduce future readmissions and ensure a safe transition for all patients.

Read more →

April 10, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of American life. Small wonder, then, that it has dramatically shaped consumer sentiment. NRC Health has been fielding surveys from consumers as the situation develops. What we’ve learned may be helpful as health systems seek to stay connected to their customers throughout this ongoing crisis.

NRC Health conducted a second nationwide online survey of consumers aged 18 and over to learn about their growing perceptions of the coronavirus pandemic and how it is impacting the United States. In total, 2,004 responses were collected from April 3-6, 2020.

Learn more →

April 6, 2020

If the coronavirus outbreak has taught us one thing, it’s this: We’re all in this together.

You can see it in the empty streets, as people respect the call to stay indoors. Or in the wide berths we give each other at the grocery store, to make sure we keep our social distance. Or on our devices at home, as we make video calls with our loved ones to help us all stay connected.

Because while the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19 will always be in the hospital, the war against the disease is happening everywhere.

In our workplaces, in our schools, and in our homes, we all have a role to play in defeating this outbreak. Whether it’s something as small as a family taking the time to wash their hands after being outdoors, or as big as GM revamping whole factories to produce N95 masksevery measure counts for something.

At NRC Health, we hope that all of you—our doctors, nurses, leaders, and support staff—take heart from the solidarity emerging in all corners of the country.

You’re our heroes in healthcare. But you don’t have to be heroic alone.

We stand with you. All of us. And we hope you know that we’re immeasurably grateful for the work you do.

April 3, 2020

This podcast is designed to provide resources, share the love stories and encourage those who are overseeing the care of aging adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe in you!

Listen →

March 31, 2020

Already, the costs of COVID-19 are proving to be as bad as we might have feared. As the disease claims lives and strains resources in facilities across the country, exhausted providers are repeating a striking observation: this doesn’t feel like an illness. It feels like a war.

And just as a war-time footing calls us to stand behind our troops, in the battle against the coronavirus, we’re called to support our providers. At NRC Health, we want to recognize and thank our country’s nurses, physicians, leadership, support staff, and other professionals in healthcare for braving the frontlines of the epidemic.

Right now, at this very moment, you modern-day heroes are putting duty before safety, caring for others at substantial risk to yourselves — or even to your families. Your personal sacrifices are an inspiration, a singular source of hope amid grim reports from the outbreak.

When we’ve contained the contagion, and the country begins to move on, it’s no exaggeration that millions of us will have you to thank for saving our lives.

You’re heroes. Please don’t forget it. And please remember to take care of yourselves as well as you take care of us.

March 26, 2020

The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has consumers feeling anxious. The situation has revealed the degree of trust that Americans have invested in their caregivers. People are turning to healthcare organizations for leadership, information, and stability as we weather this unprecedented crisis in public health.

To help guide leaders’ decisions during this pandemic, NRC Health conducted a nationwide survey of consumers to learn about their perceptions of the coronavirus and how it is impacting the United States.

The insights provided within this report offer a deeper understanding of the needs, wants, and desires of healthcare consumers during this health crisis.

Learn more →

March 23, 2020

To our valued partner,

Yesterday, March 22, 2020, CMS announced that it will temporarily ease reporting requirements for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality-reporting programs through at least June 30, 2020. There is no action required by you or your organization. NRC Health will continue to capture feedback on your behalf and provide your organization with the insights needed to advance the safety and quality of the care experience.

Providers will not be required to submit quality measures for these programs, including CAHPS data, nor will they be subject to financial penalties or incentives tied to reporting requirements.

During this time of crisis, patients and consumers alike are turning to healthcare organizations not just for care in the event of illness, but also as reliable sources of objective information. NRC Health is committed to helping you obtain the insights you need to keep caregivers and patients safe and informed, and our research team is actively collecting and analyzing feedback related to COVID-19. Those insights, along with our recommendations on how to operationalize your experience-feedback program, will be shared with you in the coming days.

To all of you—from executive leadership to physicians, frontline nursing staff, and caregivers—your diligent devotion to the public good remains an inspiration. We are honored to partner with you. If you have questions about the CMS announcement or any other matter, please reach out directly to your Customer Success Manager, or give us a call at 800.388.4264.

NRC Health

March 23, 2020

To our extraordinary partners,

As COVID-19 continues to spread, it has revealed the degree of trust that Americans have invested in their providers. People are turning to healthcare organizations for leadership, information, and stability as we weather this unprecedented crisis in public health.

That trust is well-deserved, and it’s been hard-won. America’s caregivers earned it through an unwavering commitment to patient well-being.

To all of you—from executive leadership to physicians, frontline nursing staff, and support workers—your diligent devotion to the public good remains an inspiration. There’s no one better suited to meet this moment.

As you treat the patients and residents affected by this virus, or as you redouble your preparation for COVID cases that have yet to emerge, we at NRC Health want you to know that you have our gratitude, our support, and our trust. And we want to help you focus on the crisis at hand, in any way we can.

In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out with brief messages of support, along with helpful, uplifting stories of care and best practices to better support the vital work you’re doing. And if there’s any way that NRC Health associates can help you in your efforts, do not hesitate to ask.

In solidarity, and in gratitude for everything you do,
Your partners at NRC Health