A natural disaster will occur somewhere in the United States every year. Many of these emergencies can be somewhat predicted according to season and geographic location. For such disasters, does your practice have a plan? Did you know that automation can play a vital role in your emergency communication efforts?
Do You Have a Communication Plan?
Communication is crucial in reducing the chaos surrounding a disaster. It is important for a provider’s office to have a before and after plan. With the possibility that widespread disaster can strike at any time, how can you ensure patients and employees will receive critical information about operations and recovery?
Plan for Your Patients
- Remind patients that medical facilities are likely to be overwhelmed after the event
- Remind patients to keep up-to-date personal health information
- Educate regarding the use of emergency medical services during and after disaster
- Explain temporary shutdowns
- Communicate extended or accommodating hours
- Encourage anxious patients without a critical complaint to refrain from visiting emergency and urgent care centers
- Empower the “worried well” with information that will allow them to stay home and out of harm’s way
Plan for Your Staff
- Collect primary and secondary contact sources for employees
- Any communication method must allow for employees to be reached at different locations with different devices
- Communicate decisions regarding closures, hours, expectations, and back-to-normal operations
- Explain any available assistance while the office is temporarily closed
- Determine how the event has affected them and their ability to return to work – essential to accelerating the practice’s recovery efforts
How Automation Can Help
Making automated notifications part of your disaster planning will allow time and resources to be focused on other critical needs. Traditional phone trees can take hours to execute while automated phone calls, text and/or emails can alert and advise patients and employees within minutes.
If you haven’t made automated outreach a part of your emergency communication plan, it’s certainly worth exploring. Call 1-800-644-4266 to learn more about how this type of proactive outreach can positively impact both your patients and your staff.