When a physician takes the Hippocratic Oath he or she promises to “do no harm.”

Every hospital leader should be listening and learning.

Rule Number One: Make sure your spokesperson “does no harm.” This is especially important in a crisis situation, but in fact having the right people (yes people, not just one person) ready to respond to any kind of situation or big announcement (like a multi-million-dollar gift or executive retirement) is important.

The very best organizations have a full roster of spokespeople prepared to tackle an array of circumstances. Yes, have your CEO, Chief Medical Director, Head of Nursing and Emergency Department trained, but also identify key subject matter experts within the organization to be instructed and ready to go.Time and time again we see examples of hospital spokespeople calming the waters outside their facility during a crisis, discussing readiness, staff engagement and appreciation to the community for support. It is the prescription for success.

Time and time again we see examples of hospital spokespeople calming the waters outside their facility during a crisis, discussing readiness, staff engagement and appreciation to the community for support. It is the prescription for success.Click To Tweet

From an expert in a white coat talking about the flu or measles, to the head of security standing in front of the cameras describing the hospital’s response to an active shooter, the opportunities are always at your doorstep. Each and every member of your team may have a role to play in telling the organization’s story.

True, budgets and calendars make it hard to train everyone, but taking the time to identify who your spokespeople may be and having them join a large group-training session can pay big dividends down the road.

At Padilla, we work with hospital systems with a global-reach, but also small, rural community hospitals. It doesn’t matter where you are, you need to be ready. Take, for example, a small community hospital we work with, located just off a major interstate in the middle of the country nestled between two mid-sized cities. They are the go-to for emergency medical care when a traffic pile-up occurs. They do not have unlimited budgets for training, but they found a way to get more than a dozen hospital staff in a room for a group training. If there is a will, there is a way.

Time and time again we see examples of hospital spokespeople calming the waters outside their facility during a crisis, discussing readiness, staff engagement and appreciation to the community for support. It is the prescription for success.

A health care roster of spokespeople is like a college basketball team with a deep bench – mixing and matching talents to build the very best team to create the very best outcome.

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