Publications / COVID-19 Tracking Poll, May 2021: Views from California Health Care Providers on the Front Lines

COVID-19 Tracking Poll, May 2021: Views from California Health Care Providers on the Front Lines

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The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed a myriad of impacts on California’s health care providers. To assess those impacts, the California Health Care Foundation partnered with Goodwin Simon Strategic Research to conduct a statewide survey of California health care providers. The goal was to understand better providers’ mental health and morale, the financial impact on their practices, and their assessment of California’s readiness for future emergencies, as well as other topics.

This survey, conducted March 26 through April 8, 2021, is the third in a three-part series of research assessing COVID-19-related effects on health care providers.

Health care providers’ workplace and personal morale have improved from just a few months ago, but significant majorities still feel overworked and burned out.


Other key findings include:

  • Large majorities of providers feel the COVID-19 pandemic has better prepared the state of California and their hospital for future emergencies, although crucial areas still lag.
  • Virtually all providers have gotten and would recommend the COVID-19 vaccines, but many are concerned about variants reducing their efficacy.
  • Providers have faced — and continue to face — financial challenges and uncertainty. More than one in four say their workplace continues to experience financial instability.
  • Most providers report increased mental health and substance use impacts among patients, with many worried about forgone and delayed care.

The survey was conducted among 1,209 doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and behavioral health specialists in California. The second part was published in February 2021, and the first part was published in November 2020. Where appropriate, the results of this third-wave study are compared to the earlier waves to assess changing experiences among providers during the often-changing pandemic environment.

The full report, available for download below, shows data broken down by region, age, race, gender, and income. Also available are the charts and the detailed topline results.

About the Authors

Goodwin Simon Strategic Research (GSSR) is an independent opinion research firm with decades of experience in polling, policy analysis, and communications strategy for clients in the public and private sectors. GSSR Founding Partner Amy Simon, Partner John Whaley, Research Analyst Andrea Hackl, and independent researcher Sharon Pinkerton all contributed their thought leadership on this survey research in collaboration with the California Health Care Foundation.

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