Patient Perceptions of Drive-Through Medical Treatment Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sean Stuart, DO, LCDR, MC, USN; Sally Mandichak, MD, LT, MC, USN; Julianne Davison, MD, LT, MC, USN; Shai Ansell, MD, LT, MC, USN; Timothy Parker, MD, LT, MC, USN


Western J Emerg Med. 2021;22(5):1032-1036. 

In This Article


Our study was limited by survey anonymity preventing exact demographic assessment of our population and a smaller (five-question) questionnaire, which restricted the granularity of the data. These decisions were made pragmatically, as the surveys were conducted in a drive-through venue, to minimize the Hawthrone effect and in an effort to increase recruitment, as shorter questionnaires have been shown to result in higher response rates.[12] We were able to pull demographics for all patients who drove through the unit and maintain that the large number and consistency of the responses still allows for overall assessment. The DMEF was designed exclusively for the evaluation and treatment of COVID-19/influenza-like illness and would not be appropriate for all medical conditions. Even with these limitations, we believe the findings provide useful initial insight into patients' perceptions of vehicle-based healthcare models.