On top of being a health crisis, COVID-19 is also a socioeconomic and information crisis. The pandemic has caused a global recession that has caused many people to end up in extreme poverty. Different actions need to be employed to curb the danger of spreading the virus. Vaccines can be developed then the people have to be willing to comply with social and public health measures for success. There is, therefore, a need to come up with a risk and communication plan to help in mitigating the effects of the pandemic.
Purpose of the Proposed Plan
- To help inform individuals about the dangers of COVID-19 to their health and how to manage potential problems when they arise. This is done through the dissemination of information, communication of emergency situations and potential crises, and encouragement of prudent actions.
- To help in providing guidance to prepare for and manage effects caused by the pandemic to reduce panic among the people.
Goals Of the Proposed Plan/ What It Intends to Do
- To help the organization in ensuring that people have the necessary information required to save their lives by protecting themselves and others from the disease to minimize its impact on their health.
- To show concern for the safety of people’s lives.
- To maintain a good public image for the organization.
- To ensure that information provided is accurate and timely for the target audience.
- To help explain accurately and clearly the level of damage caused by the pandemic and necessary steps to be taken in managing the crisis by stakeholders to avoid confusion.
- To help ensure that healthcare professionals have the knowledge required to detect possible cases, engage patients and communicate to them about COVID-19.
- To ensure that health care specialists are equipped with knowledge on how to protect themselves when exposed to the virus and position them as a trusted source for information about the disease.
Who The Proposed Plan Is For And Those Implementing It
This proposed plan is for top leaders in healthcare and also other health personnel who are responsible for handling future risks and crisis events. The top leaders/ healthcare administrators are the same ones responsible for implementing this plan since it contains findings and recommendations that can be followed. A healthcare risk manager is an administrator who assesses and minimizes several risks to workers, patients, and the general public. This professional can use this plan to better play his role of reducing patient problems, and potential safety issues and in managing major and unexpected events.
How The Proposed Plan Fits with The Organization’s Mission
The proposed plans fit with the mission of health organizations as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in various ways. The plan helps an organization to reduce the pressure on healthcare systems by providing information on how to coordinate responses that prioritize saving lives such as the behavioral change that help in conquering the spread of the virus. The plan has information on how to do tests and traces in a better way and this helps eliminate fears in citizens just as the mission states. The plan enables health organizations to ease economic burden since it has a well outlined economic response plan that helps to protect lives, stabilize markets and sustain economic growth.
Need For the Proposed Plan
Risk and crisis communication is important and needs to be done with care to avoid miscommunication in the midst of a critical condition to avoid public outrage among other things. This proposed plan helps in ensuring that information is credible and this helps to reduce anxiety among the people and encourage responsible behavior to stop the spread of the disease while mitigating its consequences. This proposal is needed to ensure that communication is in control so that people embrace the situation, and healthcare professionals keep performing their duties. Ways of communicating appropriately are stated to avoid stress in health care systems that may be beyond the capacity they can handle. Risk and crisis communication rely on public confidence to help in enhancing risk reduction behaviors among the people which eventually contributes to the reduction of risks and handling crises. The proposed plan outlines the important aspects of effective communication to be used for risk and crisis management.
Audience Profile Information
The risk and crisis communication proposed plan is intended for the general public that comprises of different subgroups. For the communication to be effective, the proposed plan has identified various target segments to help stakeholders in identifying groups that are at risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19. The strategies in the plan are aimed at reaching global, national, and local level audiences such as the United Nations, the civil societies, Non-governmental Organizations, the community, and governments like disaster management authorities and ministries of health. Health is a concern to everyone therefore risk communication is for the whole community containing vulnerable populations.
Detailed Risk and Crisis Assessment Information
Communication of risk and crisis assessment information leads to awareness that helps to prevent and mitigate the transformation of coronavirus among the people. The coronavirus pandemic has disapproved the resilience of the global health emergency system since it began in China and spread to all other nations around the world within months. This disease spread so fast, it has a differential recovery rate and it was more vulnerable to the aged and those with low immunity. Several vaccines for COVID-19 have been developed although there is none that guarantees total protection (Malecki et al., 2021). The best way of handling this crisis, therefore, remains to prevent and mitigate spreading the diseases and this happens by being well informed about its causes and the ways of transmission. Coronavirus was declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization since it was a concern to many countries and so it needs a synchronized international response.
The corona crisis is an emergency that has revealed many challenges in our lives. Many people have been affected around the world with some nations experiencing high levels of mortalities. The pandemic has displayed the necessity for a transdisciplinary view of crises through several angles including technology and global governance. The disaster has also caused a crisis in the geopolitical and economic sector in as much as it is a health issue making it to be a humanitarian challenge (Flores & Asuncion, 2020). Currently, there are some countries still having a rise in the numbers of acted cases, others expecting another wave of the pandemic while others have reduced their infection rate.
Scope of the Proposed Plan/ Areas Covered
This proposed plan covers the main sectors of public health readiness and response to a crisis like COVID-19. It contains guidelines that support nations in preparing and responding to unexpected events in a better way (Coombs, 2020). Indicators for achieving goals are stated for different health bodies and are relevant to different groups of people around the world. The proposed plan encompasses the geographical scope of the disease since it impacted all nations worldwide and outlines the best ways for planning, monitoring, and responding to the crisis through effective use of risk communication.
Specific Crisis Events Covered
The proposed plan covers all events that happened since the outbreak of the pandemic to help in clearly communicating the risk. The rapid rate of transmission of the virus to the rest of the world is covered along with the causes and the strategies that were implemented to curb the pandemic. The proposed plan encompasses fluctuation of infection rates between regions and age groups, the impact of the crisis on people, healthcare systems, and other sectors (McGuire et al., 2020). It contains measures employed to prevent transmission and better ways for addressing the pandemic.
Parts Of the Organization to Participate
Risk and crisis communication need the participation of different stakeholders for it to be effective. In this proposed plan, different parts of organizations will get involved and this includes government organizations, members of the public who are affected, ministries, and organizations connected to the health agency. Non-governmental organizations, media groups, and community-based organizations will also need to participate. This will enable them to understand how transmission can be reduced and how they can enhance risk reduction actions in society.
Concept of Operations
This proposed plan for risk and crisis communication will help provide for safety to health personnel by limiting the likelihood of exposure either while on duty or away. This plan will specify the exact techniques to be used in mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in a better way. Each organization involved in risk management can use this plan for applying procedures and practices to contain this pandemic. This plan takes into account both individual, community, and national factors that influence the plan.
Possible Processes, Roles and Responsibilities, and Training Plans
Effective communication of risks and restriction of public gatherings are possible processes developed in this proposed plan to help contain COVID-19. The roles and responsibilities in this plan may be that all organizations involved in risk communication and management should take it as a personal initiative to clearly communicate to people about preventing transmission. All stakeholders should teach members of the public how public gatherings are a great contributor to the spread of the disease. The training plans in this plan will emphasize effective communication teachings for all stakeholders.
The proposed plan will ensure that risk managers use clear and consistent communication as a strategy for people to know exactly what they should do and what they should avoid. Credibility is a strategy that will build trust in people and as a result, they will support health experts by observing the set measures and policies. Empathy in leaders while communicating can be employed to reduce the hardships (Walaski, 2013). Accounting for levels of literacy among the population is an important strategy since people will understand the information to make wise decisions.
Possible Internal and External Methods of Communication
Internal communication can be done using intranets where information is sent to an online portal to be accessed by organizations involved in the COVID-19 crisis. This will enable them to share and discuss new ideas concerning risk management while improving their quality of work. Advertising is the best external method that can be used for communication since it contributes to risk awareness, an important attribute needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Kwok et al., 2021). This will enable health organizations to effectively communicate their purpose.
Possible Items to Include in A Press Kit
Libraries can play an important role in responding to COVID-19 since the resources therein help library users to know how to take care of the victims of the pandemic. Images containing patients in hospitals and in isolation can be included in a Press Kit. Captions and information about the photographer can also be put in each image. Videos with patients in hospital and isolation centers can also be encompassed in press kits.
Data To Be Provided by The Organization
Information about the total number of people infected with the virus needs to be provided by the health organization to determine the extent of transmission. Data about the total number of deaths and recoveries help in assessing the effectiveness of the measures employed. Data on the number of health workers is needed to identify how much specialists protect themselves during service. Information about the economy is needed to evaluate the impact caused by the pandemic.
Internal And External Information Needed, Evaluation Plan and Evaluating Effectiveness
Internal information about the efforts made by the organization is needed to show determination to reduce the risk. Information about how the community responds to the measures put is needed to identify opportunities for improvement. The evaluation plan can involve gauging the results obtained against the measured implemented. This will enable in assessing the effectiveness of risk and crisis reduction methods (Walaski, 2013). The system resource model is a possible tool for evaluating the internal efficiency of health organizations by concentrating on the process taken to realize goals (McGuire et al., 2020). The goal model can evaluate effectiveness externally to determine how well goals are achieved by observing how patients behave.
Coombs, W. T. (2020). Public sector crises: Realizations from covid-19 for crisis communication. Partecipazione e Conflitto, 13(2), 990-1001.
Flores, R., & Asuncion, X. V. (2020). Toward an improved risk/crisis communication in this time of COVID-19 pandemic: A baseline study for Philippine local government units. Journal of Science Communication, 19(7), A09.
Kwok, L., Lee, J., & Han, S. H. (2021). Crisis communication on social media: What types of COVID-19 messages get the attention? Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 19389655211028143.
Malecki, K. M., Keating, J. A., & Safdar, N. (2021). Crisis communication and public perception of COVID-19 risk in the era of social media. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 72(4), 697-702.
McGuire, D., Cunningham, J. E., Reynolds, K., & Matthews-Smith, G. (2020). Beating the virus: An examination of the crisis communication approach taken by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the Covid-19 pandemic. Human Resource Development International, 23(4), 361-379.
Walaski, F. P. (2013). Risk and communications: Methods and messages (Eds). Wiley.