FRANKLIN, Tenn., March 9, 2020 – As the coronavirus continues to spread nationwide, Dialog Health is advising healthcare facilities to place a priority on delivering effective messaging concerning infection prevention and protocols.
"The coronavirus represents a significant unknown that is impacting people and processes in ways that known entities like the flu do not," said Brandon Daniell, president and co-founder of Dialog Health, a two-way texting platform that enables information to be pushed to and pulled from patients, caregivers and healthcare facility staff. "There is a growing sense of panic that this unknown is now fueling. While the panic is not all justified, it cannot be ignored."
Healthcare facilities have a responsibility to keep patients, staff, providers and vendors safe. "At a time like this, timely communication and appropriate messaging are even more critical," Daniell said.
Here are examples of messages healthcare facilities should consider sharing with the people coming to their buildings.
For patients and vendors: "If you are not feeling well or are taking care of someone who is ill, please contact us to reschedule your appointment."
For staff: "If you are not feeling well or are taking care of someone who is ill, please call the office to reschedule your shift."
For anyone: "Please be advised that we have implemented a NO handshake policy on the premise at all times."
For staff and providers: "As a valued team member, please remember the importance of following hand hygiene, masking and all other hygiene-related policies per your training."
For patients, family members and vendors: "While in our waiting room or other areas of the facility, please cover your nose and mouth if you sneeze and cough. We have tissues and hand sanitizer located throughout the waiting room for your use. Please use both!"
For everyone: "To reduce your risk of spreading infection, remember to wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. It helps to sing 'Happy Birthday' twice. Also, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth."
For staff: "Remember that we have changed our patient pre-screening and screening upon admission policies to include asking where patients have traveled. If you have any concerns about admitting a patient, please speak with your supervisor."
Spreading the Word, Not the Virus
It is essential to establish processes to best ensure these and other timely messages are distributed in an efficient and effective manner. Posting notices on facility websites, social media and around the building itself are worthwhile. Outbound communication like phone calls and emails can work as well. But texting is likely your best option for mass communication.
"Text messaging is a proven method for quickly reaching and successfully engaging with patients, staff, providers and vendors," Daniell says. "If you need to get a message out fast, to a significant number of people and with a high degree of confidence that your audience will receive and read it, send that message as a text."
Daniell continues, "We like to say that, 'The time to deploy texting is well before it is needed.' With the coronavirus likely to continue spreading for some time, bringing with it even more panic, the time to deploy texting is as soon as possible."
Members of the media interested in speaking with Brandon Daniell about text messaging, emergency preparedness and mass communication should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (877) 666-1132 if on a deadline.
About Dialog Health
Dialog Health Inc. is a U.S.-based company that provides a two-way texting platform to organizations which they can leverage as a communication and engagement channel. Two-way texting is a convenient, fast, effective and affordable communication resource for stakeholder engagement. For more information, visit www.dialoghealth.com, call (877) 666-1132 and follow Dialog Health on LinkedIn.