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Communication in Healthcare

In: Science

Submitted By krystal1985
Words 1870
Pages 8
Krystal Jackson
January 17, 2016
HCS\320

Introduction:

Emergency alludes to an occurrence of undesirable occasions in the environment which prompt unsettling influences and significant agitation amongst the people. Emergency, by and large, emerges without prior warning triggers a sentiment danger and dread in the representatives. In less complex words emergency prompts instability and causes significant damage to the association and its workers. It is fundamental for the representatives to sense the early indications of emergency and caution the workers against the negative results of the same. Emergency not just influences the smooth working of the association additionally to represent a danger to its image name (Ryan & Islam, 2014).
Emergency communication is a sub-category within communications strategy of the advertising calling that is intended to secure and shield an individual, organization, or association confronting an immediate danger to its members, citizens or property. Crisis communication can also be characterized as emergency correspondence that facilitates basic needs of citizens and can truly affect an association's execution and produce negative outcomes. Significance can be socially constructed on account of this; the way that the partners of an association view an occasion (decidedly, impartially, or contrarily) is a significant contributing variable to whether the occasion will turn into a crisis.
Additionally, it is critical to discrete a real emergency circumstance from an incident. The term emergency ought to be held for certain occasions that require careful consideration from management. The emergency administration has been characterized by an arrangement of variables intended to battle emergencies and to reduce the real harms inflicted. Crisis administration ought to not only be reactionary; it ought to additionally comprise of precaution measures and readiness in foresight of potential emergencies. Powerful emergency administration can significantly lessen the measure of harm the association gets as an after-effect of the emergency, and might even keep an episode from steadily forming into a crisis (Ryan & Islam, 2014)
Emergency correspondence strategies amid the pre-emergency stage might incorporate the accompanying: inquiring about and gathering data about emergency dangers particular to the association; making an emergency administration arrange for that incorporates settling on choices early about who will handle particular parts of an emergency if and when it happens; planning official statement formats for the association's advertising group in the case of an emergency; and the hierarchy of leadership that all workers will follow in the dispersal of data to all publics amid an emergency situation. A fast reaction emergency interchanges group ought to be sorted out amid the pre-emergency stage and all people who will help with the genuine emergency correspondence reaction ought to be trained (Guffey & Loewy, 2015).
The situation and the communication response:
The situation described as a crisis is the accidental contamination of the public water supplies of several towns and cities in the region with a life-threatening biological agent. It is the responsibility of the Regional Emergency Management Directorate to coordinate the response to this crisis, secure lives, and property, and carry out essential communication without causing mass panic or affecting the working conditions of the emergency response services. The Emergency Management Office coordinates this response as well as its planning across the region affected by the crisis.
However, the first thing to realize is that the Director of the Office has to ensure the occurrence of the accident is communicated to all the major functionaries and stakeholders in the region, without the news leaking in such a way that it causes panic and a mass upsurge among the ordinary public. Such a situation can very easily go out of hand, especially if masses of the public start fleeing their homes in cars or road transport for another region, causing traffic jams that will impede the arrival of crisis response forces and units, as well as cause further traffic accidents (Ryan & Islam, 2014).
In such a situation, the first reports usually come from citizens or people immediately affected by the crisis. In this case, since the public water distribution system of the region itself is affected by harmful biological materials, large numbers of ordinary people can very easily affect whenever they use their domestic water taps.
This can involve something as simple as washing one's hands or making some coffee. If the contaminant is especially deadly, casualties can easily run into the hundreds within the first few hours. Thus, prompt communication within the first few hours is essential. Moreover, in this particular situation, one has to communicate the danger to the public immediately and warn them not to use their water systems. This cannot be avoided at all, and the Regional Emergency Directorate cannot work around having to break the news to the public and warning everyone not to use their water supply. Thus, the point about ensuring that mass panic does not ensue is very important.
To ensure this, the initial message of communication has to be framed, drafted and worded very carefully so that it communicates both the danger involved yet assures the citizens that it will soon be brought under control, and there is no reason to panic. Moreover, the actions that the members of the pubic need to undertake should also be very explicitly mentioned in the first message of the crisis – so as to ensure that fatalities are a minimum at worst. In this particular case, this will involve warning people not to use any of their domestic water supplies at all until further notice from the Regional Emergency Management Office. They should also be always instructed to listen to the radio and public communications systems for further messages from the authorities regarding this (Guffey & Loewy, 2015).
The other individuals and groups within the organization that will have a very important role in managing this crisis will also have to be communicated with. These stakeholders are both internal as well as external. The external stakeholders are the Police Department, which should be contacted to inform them of the crisis as well as to ensure that criminal elements and anarchists do to take advantage of the panic to create confusion. The Management will also need the Police's active involvement on the streets to manage crowds that may form on the streets and to direct traffic that may be caused by panicked people trying to flee the region. The police will be needed to ensure the panic does not overflow and create an unmanageable situation on the streets (White, 2011).
As part of the Regional Emergency Management and Administration, several other public bodies are usually part of the internal system and can be treated as internal stakeholders. These are the regional public health services especially specialty hospitals, medics and first aid, as well as emergency medical care centers. A message can be sent via telephone and smart messaging on mobile phones t0 all the directors of the medical centers in the region, as well as ask the emergency services to be on standby to reach citizens who may have been exposed to the contamination. Such communication will be worded emphasizing the medical danger of the crisis (Ryan & Islam, 2014).
The second part of the crisis communication with the healthcare services in the region would involve soliciting their professional expertise and knowledge in responding to the source of the emergency, mainly the initial contamination of the water supplies, and the way to remove this contamination. Medical and scientific expertise will be required t help the Emergency Management identify the contaminant, its chemical and biological properties, its exact medical effect on humans, as well as the way to decontaminate the water supply.
The final part of the communication will also involve informing the water management or water supply authorities of the contamination and asking them to cut off the supply until the contamination is dealt with at its source and the reservoirs are declared safe by competent professionals. This would require the water supply authorities allowing medical and chemical engineering professionals to access their storage areas to remove the contamination.
The use of appropriate communication technology and strategy is essential in this regard. While in previous emergencies such as the Three Mile Island disaster and Hurricane Katrina, ineffective methods of communication such as regular landline telephones and/or emails were used, the proliferation of social media as well as Smartphones has made quick and all-pervading communication by public authorities much easier. In the developed world, early 90% of people have a social media account as well as a device that connects to the internet. Most public authorities, including Police Departments and Emergency Medical Services, also have regularly monitored and maintained social media accounts, especially on Facebook and Twitter (Hilvert & Bruce, 2012).
Given that communication flows much more quickly through this medium than to telephones, the Regional Emergency Management Directorate would do well to regularly post updates on its social media account, thus calming the people down and apprising them of the situation. This also has the added benefit of ensuring the people stay within the communication loop, and nobody is caught in an information blackout that can have far-reaching repercussions. This strategy obviously requires some prior preparation and planning, such as publicizing the social media accounts to all the region's inhabitants and asking them to follow these accounts (White, 2011).
Other aspects of this crisis communication would involve sticking to some basic guidelines such as - * Employees and officers of the Crisis Management Office should not ignore the concerns or requests from any of the external stakeholders. Having seamless cooperation and positive teamwork with external partners is very important in such situations. * Individuals should not be criticized in official communications to the public. Negative messaging should be avoided as it reduces confidence among the public and increases the panic element. Rather, the organization should communicate collectively and reduce individual addressing as much as possible. * Information must flow from all sides as well as within the various departments of the Organization. * Quick decisions must be taken based on analysis of the communications received from citizens. The margin for error is very low in such situations, and thus, crisis communication specialists will have to be more intuitive in this regard. * Certain information must be kept confidential, such as the identities of the personnel involved in critical technical tasks in dealing with the contamination of the water supply. This is especially required if the contamination was a result of a terrorist attack or any action by hostile parties. * The Government at the Federal level must be informed about the occurrence and be kept in the information loop. Although the crisis can and will be planned tp be handled completely at the regional level, a need may arise to requisition additional resources in manpower and technology from the Federal Government. Keeping the central authorities within the chain of communication will help to ensure better resource availability.

References

Guffey, M., & Loewy, D. (2015). Essentials of Business Communication. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Hilvert, J., & Bruce, L. (2012). Communications Technology. New York: Black Rabbit Books.
Ryan, J., & Islam, T. (2014). Hazard Mitigation in Emergency Management. New Jersey: Butterworth-Heinemann .
White, C. (2011). Social Media, Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technologies. New York: CRC Press.

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