The public has high expectations that hospitals will provide compassion, care, and extensive support for both injured and uninjured disaster survivors. In the face of disasters like pandemics or terrorist attacks, hospital communicators must be prepared to effectively communicate internally, externally, and across organizations. Furthermore, in crisis situations, hospitals must apply guiding principles of public relations including relationship management and rumor management. There remains a shortage of literature examining strategic risk and crisis communication in healthcare settings, including best practices. We conducted 27 interviews with U.S. hospital personnel charged with disaster management and/or crisis communication. Key findings reveal communication challenges not identified in prior research, such as policing the media and managing up, as well as reinforcing existing generic best practices, such as accepting uncertainty.
Liu, Brooke Fisher, Brooke M. Fowler, Holly A. Roberts, and Emina Herovic. 2018. "Keeping Hospitals Operating During Disasters Through Crisis Communication Preparedness." Public Relations Review (June). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S036381111830016X