COVID-19 Hospital Restrictions - Surveying Impact on Patient- and Family-Centered Care


“We need to document the adverse effects of COVID-19 restrictions on patient- and family-centered care so that hospitals and healthcare teams can make evidence-informed decisions. They need as much data as possible.”

-Dr. Linda Franck, Former UCSF PTBi Director of Postnatal Research


Black provider putting on a mask in clinic hallway

See the ongoing results from our national survey gathering information about changes to policies and practice due to COVID-19 and how hospitals are engaging patient and family advisors in planning and implementing changes.

In the wake of coronavirus, administrative and clinical leaders are having to make difficult decisions and policy changes aimed at preventing the virus’ transmission without a clear understanding of how these changes impact patient-and family-centered care, quality and safety. 

The purpose of the survey is to gather information about changes to policies and practice during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and how hospitals engaged patient and family advisors in planning and implementing changes. Data (de-identified) from the survey are being rapidly reported on PTBi and IPFCC websites so that the results can be used to improve patient care as we all continue our work to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on patients and families. Last update 7/31/20. 

We are currently collecting contact information for our next round of surveys and interviews. If you would like to be contacted to participate, please provide your contact information below.  We will keep your information confidential and will not share your personal information with anyone outside the research team. Register your interest.


Where are we now?

  • 541 respondents from 394 hospitals in 35 countries 
  • Findings were presented in 10 national and international webinars throughout 2020, reaching several thousand of people
  • We provided data to show the perceived impact on disparities in care as a result of the policy restrictions as well as data on the lack of patient and family partnership in developing and communicating policies 
  • We created a database to support further research on this new important topic 



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OVERALL RESULTS - as of 7/31/20

Check back for updated results as more hospitals complete the survey.

Countries represented:

countries represented

Hospitals have limited family presence

Number of support persons are allowed at the bedside

Has your hospital or health system changed any policies that impact communication and interactions among patients/ families and clinicians? (n=169)

What aspects of communication and/or interactions between patients and clinicians have changed? (n=87)

How have COVID-19 related policy changes impacted the following aspects of patient- and family-centered care (hospital-wide)? (n=116)

How have the COVID-19 related policy changes impacted health care disparities in your hospital or health system?

Does your hospital have a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) or Patient and Family Advisors (PFAs)?  (n=208)

How was the PFAC or PFAs involved in policy changes? (n=148)

Please share this page and encourage other hospitals and patient care units to complete the survey. 

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Please forward the survey link to others to encourage participation and check back for updated results as more hospitals and clinical units complete the survey.

Additional supports have been provided to support persons at the bedside

Strategies in place to help maintain contact for patients who cannot have support persons present at the bedside

Strategies and guidance to help support persons who cannot be at the bedside

How have the COVID-19 related policy changes impacted health care disparities?

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PTBi has teamed up with UCSF’s Department of Family Health Care Nursing, the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, and the University of Washington School of Nursing to create this survey.

university of washington

ucsf school of nursing