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2019 ACHCA Webinar: What to Say When the News is Bad
Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Category: Education - Other

2019 ACHCA Webinar:  What to Say When the News is Bad

Crisis Communications

More than perhaps ever before, nursing homes, rehab centers and post-acute care providers are coping with bad news. Google Alerts we created 3 years ago for "nursing home bankruptcy" had only a few Alerts initially; one per month or so. Now, they're coming in almost every day.

There has been a lot of disruption in post-acute care, and far too often we aren't prepared. Managers in this sector need systems and training in crisis communication more than ever before. 

And if your reaction was, "What's a Google Alert?" then you definitely need this webinar

Media Chaos

When nursing homes are under media attack, there are painful consequences to the families of the residents, disruption to the employees, and economic risks to the local economy. 

And it isn't just closures that create bad news press for long term care providers. The media are more than happy to find salacious opportunities to pillory post-acute care providers for anything that can be interpreted as neglect, abuse or mistreatment. Injuries and deaths, violence, robberies, fires - anything that will play well in a headline is fair game. The cynical truism about the media, "If it bleeds, it leads" has never been more apt. 

Recent reviews of anti-psychotic medications produced a spate of bad press for nursing homes, suggesting that managers use anti-psychotic medications as restraints for persons with Alzheimer's and related disorders. 

Traditional media is only part of the issue. Public access to social media channels provides an easy place for an angry family member, employee or crusader to reach hundreds and maybe thousands of eager minds.

What do we say - internally and externally - when bad news hits the local or national media? How do we respond when closures, layoffs and family disruptions are imminent?

An Orderly Response

Because nursing centers serve extraordinarily vulnerable individuals and their families, communicating internally and externally is critical for an orderly response to any negative news. The principles of crisis communications in nursing centers are the same as in other markets, but too often managers have simply not been trained.

Planning must be done, first quietly and then publicly. A "crisis communications" system should be in place for dealing with angry and upset families, as well as with healthcare and social services providers, the local press and the broader community. This is not difficult but given the history of the sector, not familiar territory.

This program looks at how managers can and should communicate internally and externally when the situation is bad. How to develop a crisis communications plan and how to "frame" bad situations to mitigate their perceived impact. Methods and examples will be used to provide real-life context for what is certainly time-sensitive training.

This Webinar is free.

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