HCS/320 Health Care Communication Strategies
June 1, 2015
Communication and Crisis
As the director of the regional Emergency Management Office, I have been receiving official reports that the public water supplies of several towns in the area have become contaminated with a life-threatening biological agent. The crisis of contaminated water supply is an extremely delicate situation. The weight of people lives are in immense danger. We have no solid information on how our water supply was polluted. Contingency plans will and must be addressed within this organization and with the public without creating a panic. We will do all that is within our power to get our water supply back under control.
The strategy I would use to start a contingency plan would be to address my organization and the public without creating panic. Communication inside and outside the organization during a crisis is essential. A group of well-trained staff are ready to answer questions and keep the public informed and up to date about the public water crisis. Inside the organization, a staff of professional media relations specialists has prepared a crisis communications plan in their communication office to make the final decision on any news before they give any information to the media. A step-by-step plan for gathering and disseminating information, policies and procedures for preparing messaging, disseminating information and communicating with internal and external publics quickly and effectively across traditional and new social media channels. Outside the organization, multiple e-mails and phone calls occur between our communication office and the media staff on a daily basis and development. Any decision that have been made by our office is well studied by experts before announce it to the public. Although many media organizations do an admirable job of informing the public about health issues, a sizable number of health stories are misleading and exaggerated (Du Pre, 2005).
Some of the potential advantages and challenges with communicating within the organization and with the public and private sectors during the crisis situation may be language barriers, mismanagement of phone calls that occur during the crises, our phone lines may be busy or not connected, lack of volunteers and response time can be slow. Despite the criticisms, health news does offer several advantages. Media organizations are credited with increasing people’s awareness about health. Even when medical news is not what scientists would wish, its presence keeps health on the public agenda and garners support for medical science (Deary, Whiteman, & Fowkes, 1998), ( DuPre, 2005). Challenges can occur any time during a health crisis communication event. One of those challenges is the way the organization responds to public health crisis. To make our job easy and professional, our office communication staff attends their daily meeting, holds regular conference calls, and uses an e-mail list to notify the media quickly of breaking news. The quality of key decisions made during emergencies is critically dependent on the availability of current, accessible, accurate, and relevant information (U.S. Department and Human Services, 2015).
There will be a different way to handle the next crisis situation such as water supply contamination. There will be new machines bought in to check our water supply on a much needed basis. We will put in place more mandatory training courses for the employees that work in water waste management. There materials will be kept up to date and inspected on a regular. We will set in place a website that will show the ongoing training and placement we have in order to keep this under control. We will monitor the areas where our main water supply is coming from. Also we will need help from the public so we ask that would take advantage of our technology resources to report anything they fill