The extraordinary impact of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the health care industry included a major, nearly immediate paradigm shift in the visitation policy for Johns Hopkins Medicine. This large health system, comprising six hospitals, a home care group, community physician practices and satellite outpatient sites moved from essentially open visitation to no visitation, creating an entirely new set of needs for our staff, patients and their loved ones. We developed new ways of communicating and connecting staff members, staff and patients, staff and the patient’s loved ones, and patients and their loved ones. Our intent was to maintain our commitment to patient- and family-centered care, to alleviate the anxiety and stress from this devastating pandemic to the extent possible. This article describes approaches taken by the health system’s Patient Experience leadership team and others to develop resources that educate patients, loved ones and staff about the process changes and facilitate incorporation of these new ways of communicating and connecting. The content is organized into three areas: including staff resources, consumer resources and resources that support consumer engagement. Many of the changes have been well received, enhancing our pre-COVID-19 ability to connect with one another and will be assimilated into our culture for the long term. We plan to develop objective measures of the effectiveness for approaches that outlive COVID-19 and enhance patient-centered care.

Experience Framework

This article is associated with the Patient, Family & Community Engagement lens of The Beryl Institute Experience Framework. (http://bit.ly/ExperienceFramework)