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Crisis Case Study 6

Client: Midwestern 250-bed hospital

Business challenge
Respond more appropriately to inappropriate acts by caregivers. Restore patient confidence in safety and service.

Objective
Minimize the impact of alleged employee misconduct with patients when it inevitably occurs.

Planning process
Following an incident involving alleged sexual misconduct between a caregiver and a patient, we were asked to develop and implement a crisis communications plan to manage future incidents. In order to accomplish this we:

  • Assessed current crisis/disaster communications preparedness
  • Determined the necessary level of communications preparedness
  • Wrote a plan to bring the organization to the necessary level
  • Trained six spokespersons to deliver messages in a hostile environment
  • Helped the organization practice and exercise plans
Recommendation/implementation

When the first patient-relations incident occurred, we:

  • Assessed the situation and the associated reputational risks
  • Assisted in communications strategy development, insisting on a first priority of addressing patient concerns and ensuring better policies and procedures for the future before we considered messaging
  • Shaped situation-specific messages and their compelling proofs.  We apologized appropriately and stood by our caregivers appropriately.
  • Matched messages to audiences
  • Assisted in the organization and conduct of both internal and external communications, dispatching an internal email to employees and physicians within three hours of the event and answering media inquiries soon after
  • Re-assessed, re-tooled as necessary

Results/outcome
Better employee morale. Softer media coverage of the hospital’s actions. Less likelihood of repeated recurrences of incidents.

Hospital is fifth most profitable hospital in the Chicago area.

Case Studies: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

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