The Joint Commission enterprise conducted an online questionnaire in September 2020 among healthcare organizations that work with The Joint Commission, Joint Commission Resources, Inc., and the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare to learn about the needs of organizations in the current and evolving pandemic environment.
The questionnaire, administered by C+R Research, had a total of 735 respondents representing a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, home care, behavioral health and human services, and ambulatory.
The questionnaire assessed needs for enhancements, changes, and improvements to patient safety and quality of care amid COVID-19 by focusing on these key areas:
Self-reported Impact of COVID-19 on Organizations
Most survey participants reported a medium to high impact on their organizations from COVID-19 and often perceived a higher impact than the number of COVID-19 cases in their area may have indicated.
Greatest COVID-19 Challenges Faced
Healthcare organizations across all settings reported facing common challenges during COVID-19, including staffing issues, obtaining supplies/supply shortages, and implementing safety protocols and guidelines.
Staffing Changes Resulting from COVID-19
Survey participants reported the most common changes resulting from COVID-19 included increased communication to keep staff updated on changes and to support their well-being, increased working-from-home activities, and changed plans to deal with staffing shortages.
Protocol/Organizational Changes Resulting from COVID-19
Establishing and updating protocols such as infection prevention and emergency management plans, as well as procuring additional PPE and supplies for immediate use, were the most common COVID-19 organizational changes reported by survey participants.
COVID-19 Resource Importance
Valuable resources survey participants identified are those that helped them monitor changes and adapt plans accordingly—specifically, communications on regulatory/guideline changes resulting from COVID-19, information on modifications to infection prevention plans, and additional training as federal/state/local recommendations evolved.
“The Joint Commission will use the findings to further support our accredited healthcare organizations, especially as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise across the nation,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “The findings will help guide the resources we develop and share with our accredited organizations. We also hope they will be a useful tool as organizations continue to face many challenges and identify solutions to help provide safe and quality care to patients during the pandemic.”