Employee Communication in Healthcare Trends & Lessons:
Employee communication This year was a big challenge for everyone. The global pandemic has turned our lives upside down. I won’t mention all the bad things here. That is not the purpose of this post and there is nothing new I can tell you. We see the bright side and appreciate all the great efforts of the great heroes.
I bet we were all impressed by the courage and dedication of health professionals who have risked their lives to save ours since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. I must also express my admiration for all the communications professionals who have risen to the challenge and written, recorded, signed, shared, and updated the essential security guidelines. This year I learned that information is the only thing that can move faster than a deadly virus.
Timely and accurate sharing of safety information during a pandemic that has saved (and continues to save) lives. I think communication professionals don’t get enough credit for the critical work they do every day. This blog post is my small contribution to change that. To make it more valuable, I sought eight internal communications professionals working in leading healthcare organizations to think together about the challenges, trends, and lessons of 2020.
Clarity, connectivity, alignment
The communication ecosystem in healthcare organizations is complex. And by complex, I mean thousands of employees, spread over dozens of roles in different places and units, often in multiple languages and specific internal/external directions.
“Working for a healthcare organization adds even more complexity to internal communications,” said Amy Sands Haddock, senior director of news agencies at the American Cancer Society. “Cancer patients are at a much higher risk of being infected with COVID-19, so we need to be very proactive in our decision-making and communication to ensure the safety of cancer patients, healthcare professionals, volunteers, and staff.
“Some of the impacts on our business are the disruption of certain patient services and programs that pose a risk to cancer patients. Targeted communication was extremely important in getting this kind of change across to the right audience and with repetition, although it failed to grab our wider audience, it was inundated with unnecessary communication and detail,” emphasizes Haddock.
These complex organizations require targeted and timely communication. Every person is affected differently and the unique way of communicating with employees does not work. But before you start segmenting, start with your goals, suggests AMA Director-Ambassador J. Mori Johnson. What do you want to achieve with a specific campaign? This should be your first question, followed by “Who is your audience?”
Mori shares an example from this campaign: “At the beginning of the pandemic, doctors needed the latest information to share with their colleagues and patients. The information we pass on to them must match the information available and whether the guidelines we have share applies to them .apply to We will make sure this is clearly stated in the communication We have decided to make short videos to keep our members (doctors) informed about the latest news about COVID-19 and to medical colleagues daily.COVID-19 and we use Smarp to demonstrate the latest defensive moves related to COVID-19”.
reach the hard to reach
The panorama of health communication has always been complex. With the COVID-19 pandemic, additional layers of complexity have been added: layoffs, domestic workers, doctors, and nurses working long shifts, tired and without access to screens. So how can we reach and engage our audience with relevant information?
“Healthcare communication is like any other field: delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time,” said Alan Flippen, senior director of publications and communications at Mount Sinai. The challenge is the “how”: how to reach many primary care providers who are not at their desks and rarely check their email and many patients who do not email regularly or are not connected. Therefore, other channels need to be developed, including mobile apps and social media. And communication should be done with a specific audience in mind; Scientifically trained doctors and nurses demand a different approach than highly qualified patients. “