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BTG COVID-19 Ep. 10: Consumer-Sentiment Data Results with Brian Wynne

BTG COVID-19 Ep. 10: Consumer-Sentiment Data Results with Brian Wynne of NRC Health

This series 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!

COVID-19 Consumer Study Results

Patient Feedback Analysis

Lucas: Welcome to Bridge the Gap podcast with Josh and Lucas, the senior living podcasts on our special edition of COVID-19. We’re continuing to bring on thought leaders that can bring you education and inspiration to meet you where you are today in our new normal. And we’ve got an alumni and a great partner on the show today. We’ve got Brian Wynne of NRC. Welcome to the program. 


Brian: Thank you for having me. 


Lucas: I guess I should say welcome back to the program. The last time we were together on the show was back at a conference at the NRC Conference in Nashville. Good times, man. Good times. 


Brian: So seems like a, it seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?


Lucas: It does. It does. So we’re really glad to have you back on. Give our listeners some context of what NRC does around human understanding.


Brian: Sure. so human understanding is actually the tagline and our True North at the NRC health. And what that means is that we believe that all customers have health care, families, loved ones, residents think about whatever the healthcare setting deserves to be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect and to be known. And so what NRC health does is provides tools and resources to healthcare providers so that they can hear customer voice and tune their care delivery and engagement with those people to be as meaningful as possible.


Lucas: Awesome. Now, Josh, we’ve brought on Brian to specifically talk about an area that they really excel in the human understanding aspect of it is some surveys. So given the state of affairs with this coven 19, Brian, walk us through some of these results as you guys have gotten this information back in. 


Brian: Sure. As you both are aware, maybe not everybody listening is, I’ll just give a very quick highlight that we are, we have our ear to the ground in the market all 12 months of the year and we want to understand what a care experience is like, what a residential experience is like. And then we also want to know what consumers are thinking and how they’re behaving with regard to healthcare consumption. They’re going to choose why and our expectations of any kind of service delivery. When COVID really became real for us, we’ll call it,  in the state side, early, early March, late February, it became very apparent that, you know, waiting for monthly data to come back in and what wasn’t going to be sufficient. We needed to, to aim a resource directly at how people are going to behave, how they plan to behave as a result of the COVID-19 sphere.


And then what the impact is going to be for providers so that we could start to aim our partners with a little bit of information on how the level of that that their customers have and the services they’re providing. And then if that is going to material and impact the way that people are behaving, which we know that it has, we wanted to try to put some metric to that and then be able to track it over time going forward as this whole situation. Highly fluid situation continues to evolve. 


So we went in field with a, with a survey gathering generationally representative data so that we could make sure that we are representing not only the, the, the new adults, generation Z, but also millennials, gen-Xers, boomers and then the silent generation and equally weighted that so that we had about in a four to 500 consumer voices from each one of those generations speaking about these very topics.


Josh: So Brian you’ve shared with us and gonna kind of highlight some of the topics that you guys have learned, that you guys have pulled and surveyed, which is continually being updated. We’re going to make sure that we connect our listeners and our viewers to the detailed reports that you’re providing, but I think you’ve got some information that you’re going to just kind of highlight for our listeners and viewers right now and possibly those that are watching. They’ll be able to see some of that on their screen and those that don’t we’ll highlight that for you.


Brian: That’s great. What I’ll go ahead and do for those that are watching is share a report that illustrates the data from the first study from early March. And I think one of the things that we wanted to understand here was, first of all, the level of awareness of COVID, even if we’re looking at 25 to 30 days ago was below what it is now. I mean, despite social media moving at lightning speed, and of course the broadcast media has not let us forget about coronavirus, but as we recall, that was happening across the world. And so as it began to move its way towards the United States and cases started to appear here, and then we started to see actually some deaths occur as a result of the COVID infection. 


We, we wanted to first to understand, okay, what is your level of awareness and what is your level of concern with this, you know, with this pandemic? And if we, if we look at data from early March, we actually see that, you know, we’ve got a little over 60%, a 61 and a half percent of consumers are moderately or highly concerned about the coronavirus. What’s interesting here is that at that time, you know, we had about 5% that weren’t concerned at all. But as we look down and start to look at a generational difference here, it’s interesting that the early reports from the CDC and from healthcare providers were those  that are our most vulnerable, of course, some are the elderly, those with compromised immune systems or those have underlying conditions. And I think if we look at the baby boomer and silent generation, they are really underwhelmed by, by the perceived impact or the perceived risk of coronavirus, you know, coming from data from, from earlier this month.


I think that as we see results that are published in the coming weeks, we’re going to see that shift. But essentially those that reported to be at higher risk had the least amount of concern, which is very interesting. Whereas millennials and generation X had the highest amounts of concern with really about a quarter of that population saying that, that I believe that everybody is at risk here and, and that is likely prevalent, you know, according to social media and the access that younger generations have with things like Twitter and Facebook. And all that kind of stuff. Information sharing, not always true information, but information sharing nonetheless. 


And then if we’re actually, I’m going to highlight a couple of other things here really quickly, but if we look at how we as consumers are going to alter our behavior as a result of COVID 19. So there of course been we’ve seen over the last two or three weeks all across the country, we’ve seen all types of closures, non-essential businesses closing, but we still want them to understand for things like essential business, grocery stores, food shopping and, and even use of public transportation where absolutely necessary, how is it going to impact consumer life? So when we start to look at some very interesting data, self-reported by consumers. For example, like going to the grocery store, we all know that isn’t essential. That’s an essential business. They’re staying open. We’ve had around 27% of the population saying that they’re only going to go when absolutely necessary. Now, if any of you live near a Costco or something like that, I think you would challenge the notion that, you know, a quarter of the population is only going when absolutely necessary and we’ve all seen, you know, what’s been happening with things like toilet paper and sanitizing wipes. So I think the way that people plan to behave and the way that people actually do behave once the real scare sets in and once the real risk of something sets in actually becomes quite different. 


Another interesting thing to point out is you know, as, as we look at some major players in the travel industry looking for things like you know, make maybe bail out money from the government. You can see, you can see why in consumer behavior, in terms of how they anticipate utilizing things like airplane travel where you’ve got 40% say, I don’t travel regularly anyway, but then almost 20% of individuals are going to say that it’s not going to do this anymore. And not, at least not until I can see around the corner, you know, from the end of COVID 19 and things return back to a new normal. 


I think the last thing that I want to highlight here is actually something that the healthcare providers and consumers are trying to wrap their head around and that is this idea of trust. So when we’re asking healthcare consumers of all generations now between the government, local health care providers, national leaders in health care, which can be thought leaders as well as major brands like Mayo Clinic and others, individuals, so us, ourselves, you know, who do they most trust when it comes to handling COVID 19 a pandemic and the government was an overwhelming winner in terms of I’m sorry, let me restate that. This is an important distinction. Sorry guys. Who do you feel is most responsible for handling the COVID 19 coronavirus and the government was, was by far and away a rated the highest in terms of who is most responsible for handling this crisis. So little over 30% of all consumers are saying that. And then followed by national health care leaders. And then us and then individuals. So like we are responsible for it. We should be washing our hands, we should be social distancing, those types of things. 


Now if we look at the other side of the coin on trust, so now who do you trust to handle this coronavirus crisis? Then now we see the actual people that provide healthcare, right? So it is the local healthcare leaders. It’s the local senior living facility. It’s a local hospital. And then the national leaders in healthcare that the individuals look to to, you know, create vaccines and do the kind of research necessary to get us around the corner. The biggest difference comes between who consumers feel as responsible, which is, you know, again, overwhelmingly the government and then who consumers trust. And so those numbers for the government go from about 31% feel that they’re responsible for handling this, taking care of us. And then less than 10% actually trusts that the government will do so. So I’m not taking a political stance here, but just in terms of what consumers are saying and feeling that is a pretty big delta.


Josh: Absolutely. So this is fascinating information and there’s no doubt there’s a giant spotlight on healthcare: the healthcare industry in general, on the senior living industry. And drawing back Brian to some studies that NRC has done in the past and without having those in front of me. But I think back to you know, we were looking at a public perception and trust relating to the different sectors of healthcare and we were contrasting the difference between those that actually had personal experience with the senior living industry specifically versus those that had not had experience with the senior living industry and the difference in trust and perception, how it was much higher, those that actually had experience in some way working or living or a loved one working or living it was the perception was very high. But those that were not very familiar, didn’t have a personal experience, it was, it was very low. 


And I really believe a great opportunity we have right now in healthcare in general and senior living is because this giant spotlight is now being turned from, you know, basically the federal government to the local health care delivery, the local senior care delivery system, these community-based products that we have the opportunity to gain, so to speak, market share in trust more than we ever have before because the, the champions that we’ve been spotlighting and that we’re hearing about and seeing on social media, these heroic healthcare workers that are so committed on the front lines of this. I think that’s potentially an outcome that’s very positive for healthcare and senior living. Would you agree?


Briann: I absolutely would. And I think this is something that is very rare in healthcare and that would be more of a mutual gratitude. So there’s frequently gratitude from those that receive care from senior living residents, from general health care consumers to those who provide the care, right? The doctors and nurses of the facility and what we’re seeing now is the, some of the great stories are, are, you know, buildings and buildings of, of quarantine residents and quarantine just individuals living at home applauding and cheering on, honking their horn, streets lined up with public safety providers, you know, turn down their sirens and those kinds of things and escorting health care providers. We’ve seen members of the NRC health team, we’re actually really proud of the work they’ve done. Getting up at 5:30, 6 in the morning and holding up signs for care providers, you know, space appropriately apart, but cheering them on and saying thank you for your work. And now instead of having a, maybe a, a transaction this meaningful in a financial business way right now, which is not the important thing right now. We’re having these transactions of trust and gratitude and I think that is only going to set up, I think both those that receive care and those that provide it in a better position once we get on the other side of this COVID pandemic.


Josh: Well, you know, we’ve just scratched the surface of this valuable information that NRC has provided and you will, my understanding, continually be updating. We want to make sure that we get our viewers and our listeners not only this information where they can deep dive where we’ve just kind of scratched the surface in today’s episode, but also it’s going to be really interesting, Brian, to see the comparisons of how this information changes and what we can learn through this deep dive into human understanding around the specific COVID-19 topic. And so thank you for the valuable information. I know Lucas will share how we can get that to our listeners and our viewers. And thanks for the time today.


Brian: You’re very welcome. Let me just add quickly that we’ll share the reports with you all and then anybody who’s watching, you’re listening, feel free to also share to anybody that you see fit, any resource that can help we want it to do just that.


Lucas: Thank you so much Brian. And at NRC you guys have been amazing partners to help fuel what BTG’s mission is, which is to educate, inform and influence and be the tide that rises all boats in our industry on thought leadership and also to inspire those that are doing the work of this. So thank you so much for your time today and to our listeners, we know that you’re out there and that this is a challenging time. Just know that our thoughts and our prayers are with you and particularly the front line and the caregivers that are out there. We hope that this has been an educational and an encouragement to you. We’ll make sure that we connect with Brian, NRC in the show notes as well as the downloads, these documents you can find more at and also on our social pages. We hope you have a great day. Thanks for listening to Bridge the Gap.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Bridge the Gap podcast, the COVID-19 series. If you are company, community or caregivers are going above and beyond in their daily duties, we want to hear about it. Tag @BTGvoice on social media, or send us a message

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BTG COVID-19 Ep. 10: Consumer-Sentiment Data Results with Brian Wynne