Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Evolution of the Patient-general Practitioner Relationship

Mihai Mehedințu

Management Issues in Healthcare System, 2022, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 1-11
DOI: 10.33844/mihs.2022.60604

The present paper aims to highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the way the Patient-general Practitioner (GP) relationship evolved throughout the pandemic period. Patients' communication with the GP has acquired special importance throughout the pandemic, considering the significant number of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 and also taking into account the health authorities' recommendations for the population to immediately contact their GP at the first potential symptoms of SARS-COV-2 infection.  The research aims to show the changes in patients' communication with their GP, taking into account both the epidemiological context generated by the pandemic and the increased interaction between the two parties, due to the raised patients' need to reach the GP more often than before.  For a thorough analysis of this matter, quantitative research was conducted using the survey method and the questionnaire as a tool. The research was performed on a sample of over 200 patients from the largest polyclinics in Bucharest, Romania, between December 2021 and February 2022. The main findings of the study showed that with the outbreak of the pandemic, the communication between patients and their GP, both online and offline, increased significantly, also the patients' confidence in the GPs' advice grew, as well as patients' adherence to the treatment indicated by the physician. The study indicated that analyzing the evolution of the patient-GP relationship during and after the COVID-19 pandemic is an important asset that allows polyclinics to identify the factors that have the most influence on improving communication between the GP and their patients. In this way, in order to improve the quality of medical services and the patients' journey, polyclinics can monitor over time the actions that have the most impact on improving the patient-GP relationship.