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Continuity Of Engagement During Crisis

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Jessica Shaw

With this past week marking the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is important to not only remember those who passed and their families who are forever affected by this tragedy but to also recognize the first responders, fire fighters, police officers, military personnel as well as medical professionals that all served during this state of national emergency. As we commemorate their sacrifice and honor their commitment to public safety, the recent challenges of COVID-19 have presented the healthcare industry with similar issues of struggling to deliver patient care under pressures of fear, panic and confusion. While the pandemic has caused various obstacles for both patients and providers, there are some benefits that have come from the CoronaVirus such as increased collaboration among multispecialty care teams, prioritization of patient engagement in addition to technological advancements that have offered business continuity plans and goals to reshape the future of healthcare innovation. 

These unprecedented, but welcome, changes have shifted healthcare’s focus to communication, as it is communication that drives successful patient management and fosters positive patient satisfaction. Especially in times of crisis, communication is key to effectively being able to provide care and establish clear expectations of patient outcomes. That is why we wanted to provide you with a list of specific (and some currently relatable) situations that require sufficient communication skills and demand heightened patient engagement efforts. 

Hurricane Laura

Just recently hurricane Laura swept through the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, causing significant damage to local communities and even leading to some deaths. With businesses closed and the public prepared for the worst, clinics like Moreau Physical Therapy needed a way to communicate to all of their patients that their office was not available but that services were still being offered at their alternative locations in New Orleans. It was Raintree’s patient engagement tools that gave Moreau Physical Therapy the opportunity to administrate a global health alert that notified patients of their sudden closure right before the power went out. Automated mass messages like these can serve as emergency outlets for businesses who need to connect with their patients last minute as well as facilitate urgent plans of action. 

West Coast Wildfires

While a large majority of California, Oregon and Washington are currently on fire and thousands of people are being rushed to evacuation areas, some have not been so fortunate to escape the rapidly spreading flames. With a rising death toll, emergency rooms have been flooded with burn victims in need of immediate attention and first responders have been providing primary care to rescue survivors. During natural disasters like this, not only does polite bedside manner and proper triage assignment matter but engaging with patients as well as with their families plays a critical role in both the management and quality of care that is delivered. By utilizing a digital healthcare platform that supports interdisciplinary treatment plans and streamlines multiple episodes of care in one patient record, these clinical documentation efficiencies allow for more time to be spent on fostering reliable relationships with patients. 

COVID-19 Pandemic

With no shortage of chaos, tragedy and loss in the year of 2020 so far, COVID-19 has predominantly impacted the healthcare industry in terms of redefining patient behavior trends as well as restructuring the way providers deliver care. Whether it be general telehealth solutions, at home workforce management tools, remote patient monitoring or even AI (artificial intelligence) chatbots, all of these virtual care technologies contribute to a more seamless, flexible and engaging patient experience. 

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