Crisis Management Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Time!


So my hometown hospital back in Virginia just got listed as #8 on a list of the 10 most unsafe hospitals in the US in Consumer Reports magazine.

I learned about the story tonight through a photograph of a hard copy of the article shared on the Facebook. (There’s a lesson there in how news spreads these days!)

Naturally I was all atwitter about the development and even played a part in accelerating the fiasco for the organization — I started a thread about the listing on my facebook and received a lot of comments from people in the hospital’s market back in my hometown.

And now! It’s Crisis Management Shoulda/Woulda/Coulda time!

What would you do, if you were affiliated with the hospital?

My immediate thoughts were (and please! pardon my naughty language):

1. Acknowledge publicly that this sh*t just happened and that the hospital is taking it seriously.

2. Reassure the community that the hospital is on top of fixing this sh*t immediately.


4. Update everyone on how the sh*t has been fixed.

Of course, this is assuming the hospital has a robust social media network to interact with, or some symbiotic relationships with journalists — which sadly I don’t think they have.

Most importantly, the attitude I have toward this situation is that it’s a tremendous opportunity, not a disaster.

We all love the drama of “ANOTHER PR DISASTER STRIKES!”  But really, “PR disasters” are opportunities to get your hands dirty learning what your market really values. And without such “disasters,” opportunities to differentiate from your competitors and pull ahead may never materialize.

This hospital now has the opportunity to prove how trustworthy it is and what impeccable service it provides.

America loves a comeback story, and America loves to forgive.

Not to mention that an organization like the hospital above may learn the most important lesson of all — that it needs to be proactive with building relationships and planning ahead for “crises.” Not to mention that it is always important to research and monitor competitors and see how they are doing business and dealing with the challenges of providing healthcare in the 20-teens.

SO, I would LOVE to hear in the comments how you think this small-town medical center should proceed. And I’d also love to know how you feel about crisis management!  My favorite!

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