The American Hospital Association is urging members to take action to pave the way for effective relationships with the media as we respond to the COVID-19 crisis. These relationships will help to make sure patients and communities receive the essential information they need.
Recommended action steps include:
- Engage local reporters and foster relationships as the situation evolves in your area.
- Focus your media messaging around:
- The fact that your first priority is excellent care, safety and protection for patients as well as frontline caregivers and all other staff.
- How your hospital is well prepared by having a disaster plan and/or specific COVID-19 response plan in place. Tell them about the plan and the steps your hospital is proactively taking to be ready. Show them aspects of your plan in action. This helps to build trust, credibility and reassure the public.
- Emphasizing how your hospital is experienced in dealing with major health crises as the focal point for emergency and specialty care for the community.
- Stressing your hospital is following CDC guidelines and other guidance from federal officials designed to maximize an effective and well-coordinated response.
- Customizing your messaging to local media to address specific issues or situations your area is facing.