Organizations large and small in every corner of our country are feeling the impacts of COVID-19 and health care organizations sit on the front lines of this battle. The actions you take within your organization will mean the difference between a well-managed event or a situation that puts your patients’ or residents’ health at risk and your organization’s reputation in peril.
In this webinar hosted by Constellation, we share best practices during a time where imperfect decisions are being made based on imperfect information by imperfect people who are simply trying to do their best.
How to communicate in times of stress, fatigue and fear
We can all agree that it’s a challenging time. Working through feelings of anxiety, exhaustion and fear, we’re seeing more health care workers speaking out and staging protests. Remind your employees that we’re in this together and actively listen to their concerns. Because when we’re not pulling together, we aren’t providing the best care for patients.
When an employee’s unhappiness starts to leak out to the public, it becomes a critical risk that can undermine the credibility of your organization and create a rift that may be impossible to repair. If an employee talks to the media, are you prepared to address the issue? Can you understand their viewpoint?
How to deal with the media
If all you can share is negative news, pull back on media opportunities. COVID-19 fatigue is real, which means even the “positive news” stories are often falling on deaf ears. Stories that are gaining traction right now are related to mental health care and telemedicine.
Now is not the time to host onsite interviews or offer an “inside” look into your organization. Transition away from doctors being spokespeople and utilize your administrative leadership team.
Some of the questions we’ve heard while working with health care clients include:
- Why are you laying off staff when we have a crisis approaching?
- Is it safe to have my baby in your hospital?
- How long will your “no visitor” policy remain in place?
- I understand all your beds aren’t taken – was this an overreaction?
Keep putting the safety and well-being of people first. And for guidance or support with your brand’s communication efforts, Padilla’s COVID-19 Response Team is here to help.