As the virus continues to make headlines, hospitals and healthcare clinics around the world continue to work tirelessly to prepare for any cases of Ebola patients who might make their way to their facilities.
With one fatality in the continental United States already on record due to improper screening and immediate treatment at a Texas hospital, hospitals across the nation are working to prepare the public and themselves as Ebola monitoring continues.
Your website is a great way to share your preparedness plans with the community at large, as well as providing employees with resources for their own awareness.
Not sure where to start?
Your employees and customer service representatives are great resources for what kinds of questions and concerns they’ve been fielding from patients and visitors about Ebola, which can help craft your message.
In addition to talking to employees and your call center, here are a few other tips that will help you communicate effectively during a health crisis.
Update your employees first
Once you have a plan in place, update your employees first. Ensuring your staff understands the instructions and precautions will be vital for sharing consistent information with patients.
Your employees will also need to have proper training, and caring for their safety is an important step to ensure the safety of future patients.
Use your website as your megaphone
No doubt, members in your community are wondering if your hospital is ready to handle an Ebola case, should one arrive. Your website is your key marketing tool for that messaging.
Using sliders, press releases, or just updating a promotional space on your home page is a great place to start. The important thing is that you have your Ebola preparedness information in an easy-to-find place.
Keep it simple
Don’t get too detailed when you post a health crisis plan online. Avoid jargon, acronyms or other terms that the general public might not understand. From a patient’s perspective, their key concerns are:
- Do you have a plan? If so, what is it? How does it benefit me?
- How are you monitoring patients coming into the hospital?
- What should I know about Ebola? What are the symptoms?
- What travel advice should I heed?
Be the source material for your patients and visitors by answering the questions that you’re already getting in the door. Your concierge staff is likely encountering these concerns daily, so refer to them for the most commonly asked questions that you might be able to answer directly on the website.
Utilize online resources, too, and link to information that your patients and the community might find relevant or important to help them understand the illness.
Crisis averted: What did we learn?
Once the crisis is under control, circle back with your hospital leadership and staff and see what was learned from the process. What was the feedback from the community? How can we improve for a crisis in the future? What sure-fire improvements can we make today?
Getting through a health crisis is a major milestone, especially with something as world-captivating as Ebola. Use this opportunity to build a plan, establish confidence in your employees and community, and learn how you can better communicate with your patients to keep them healthy and educated.