Healthcare workers have toiled ceaselessly this past year against COVID-19, with no end in sight. The magnitude of the uphill battle they’ve endured is almost unfathomable for outsiders to understand. Social media analytics cuts through the colossal quantity of pandemic-related posts to reveal healthcare providers’ COVID-19 conversations. This is valuable intelligence for any provider in the space.
Here we’ll cut through the noise to get straight to the source, with a focus on:
- Challenges facing healthcare workers
- Provider concerns at this point in the pandemic
- Healthcare providers expressing hope
And here are a few figures we uncovered to help shed light on the subject:
- Before the outbreak, 40% of physicians were already experiencing the symptoms of burnout. That number has now risen to 58% amidst the pandemic.
- The World Health Organization defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
- Mental health is a pressing concern among healthcare workers. In a recent study by Mental Health America, 93% are experiencing stress, while 86% are facing anxiety. And 75% reported feeling overwhelmed.
Healthcare Provider Challenges
As the months have dragged on, we’ve become accustomed to life in a post-pandemic world. And as the coronavirus lingers, the constant news and social media posts on the topic have turned into a sort of droning white-noise for some.
But that’s certainly not the case for healthcare workers who’ve endured extreme fatigue and stress. Performing a healthcare provider topic analysis and filtering for posts from the health & medicine professions allows us to pinpoint their conversations online and the challenges they are currently facing.
And one of the newest challenges to face the beleaguered industry entails the logistics of vaccinating entire populations where the healthcare infrastructure is bursting at the seams.
Here, a physician raises the idea of offsetting the burden of inoculation from the shoulders of an already over-taxed healthcare system.
And since the vaccine rollout has just begun, a closely related challenge is ensuring that healthcare workers on the frontlines have access, since initial supplies are limited. As such, we’re seeing the hashtag #igottheshot, accompanied by selfies, beginning to gain traction amongst healthcare workers. It’s a long overdue ray of sunlight for many.
Healthcare Provider Concerns
The arrival of the vaccine is a massive relief for healthcare workers, but they know that the battle against the virus still has many hurdles left to clear. As cases continue to rise and fresh lockdowns have affected many areas worldwide, healthcare providers continue to voice their concerns over human resources and equipment.
The media dropped mainstream coverage of PPE concerns long ago, but that doesn’t mean the problem is resolved. And these conversations are gaining renewed traction in the face of mounting cases.
Pulling the conversation into the Quid Social product reveals that ‘concern’ is the primary expression in 9.2% of the recent discussion and is sandwiched between the health and healthcare system topic clusters. Proximity and linkage in the network map indicate relation or overlap in the topics as well:
And as the pandemic marches on, alarms over healthcare providers’ mental health are being raised to elevate awareness of the situation. The burnout rate in doctors is nearing 60%, an increase of eighteen percentage points since the pandemic began, and 75% of the healthcare workforce report feeling overwhelmed.
Healthcare Provider Hope
Fortunately, the healthcare provider conversation is not all doom and gloom. Even after months of tribulation, hope is sprinkled throughout the online narrative. Surprisingly, emotions are leaning heavily positive recently, as shown in our social mood analysis.
Excitement and love encompass 47% of distributed emotions, followed by joy and desire. The dotted lines represent the unfiltered conversation’s sentiment, indicating that healthcare workers themselves are much more excited (30%) than the general public (5%) discussing the topic.
Each of the bars is clickable, revealing sample sound bites of the posts behind the emotions, such as this one from a pediatric nurse practitioner in the love column.
Now that sleeves are being rolled up to receive the vaccine, the excitement from healthcare workers is palpable online – and the sentiment is moving in the right direction. If we zoom out for a moment, we can compare the shift in sentiment over the last few months.
You can see the hope and positivity growing in the narrative from the three-month discussion on the left to last month on the right.
The subject of healthcare has certainly been rife with emotion throughout 2020, and it’s great to see some relief and positivity among those that have worked so hard for the public good. And it underscores the value of the ability to dial down into the data to find the niche conversations critical to your market research. Otherwise, the online cacophony could easily drown out these posts, leaving one to make dangerous assumptions.
Social media analytics powered by next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) yields actionable market intelligence to keep your brand on the cusp of innovation. Be sure to reach out for a demo, and we’ll get you tuned in to the conversations that matter.