Creating the Ideal Healthcare Crisis Management Team
Having an exceptional crisis management team for your healthcare organization is not an overnight process. It takes foundational work, planning, and real-time experience before a group can truly be called elite. But either way, the very creation of such a team is the first critical step in having your healthcare organization in an ideal position to take on any crisis. The situations that may face a healthcare company are particularly unique due to its business position both in the local community and to the world at large. Because of this, having a team that can deal with everything from situational awareness to infrastructure evacuation is hugely important.
If you are starting a healthcare crisis management team completely from scratch, the best place to form the basis of this squad is from FEMA's legendary Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry. In it, they suggest that you create a team around these five key guideposts: community, communications, emergency response, support services, and management and personnel. Once these vital areas are signified, a healthcare organization can then go about staffing them as carefully as possible. More broadly, it's ideal to understand these concepts before creating your team:
Every healthcare organization will have different concepts they need to focus on when developing a crisis management team, and the majority of these concepts will change depending on how large your organization is. A metropolitan hospital is going to need a different set of skills from a pharmacy, of course. But it's important to document, with as much precision as possible, the exact number of people that will be involved in a crisis situation both from a response and protective standpoint.
The team's ability to respond in a crisis is based on the policy designer's imagination in terms of possible threats and situations. From hurricanes to biological chemical safety, nothing should be deemed too obscure to be included or thought-out.
Once you've established the key components of your team, as well as the healthcare facility's risks and vulnerabilities, something to not overlook is the organization-wide communication capabilities. A crisis management team is really only going to be as useful as their ability to coordinate and communicate (with both the public and private side of any crisis). What platforms to use, who reports to who, and how information is released to the press: all of this needs to be thought of well in advance.
What you are building is the foundation from which healthcare crisis management can grow from; things will be learned along the way, and better ideas will be implemented all the time. Having a world-class response team, from situational awareness to infrastructural protection, is an asset that emboldens every sector of a modern healthcare organization.
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