Hamza Asumah, MD
Crisis is an unavoidable component of running a healthcare business, and you’ll be dealing with a lot of it, especially if you’re in a low-resource zone like in most African countries. Your ability to handle these effectively is essential to the long-term health of your firm. According to Harvard Business publishing, a crisis is a time of intense difficulty, disruption, and danger.
The stress of a crisis stems from the fact that it is typically complicated and chaotic, with no predetermined outcome. This typically leads to a rough recovery period, which takes a financial, emotional, and physical toll on you, your employees, and your organization as a whole. This can even be mistakenly passed on to unwitting clients. If not effectively managed, it always leads in a chain reaction of events, with one crisis leading to another and another. This has the ability to knock your healthcare company to its knees before it has ever begun.
Prioritize swift, clear communication with both the outside world and internal teams as part of crisis planning, with the goal of preserving the organization’s image. Long before the unavoidable occurs, it is vital to have a crisis team, training, and response plan in place.
Without a question, the covid 19 pandemic is the most recurring issue that has caused significant trouble in the healthcare profession. As a business owner/leader, it is your responsibility to identify crises as soon as possible and to support your people and organization in effectively navigating them. As a leader, you’ll be venturing into uncharted area, and you’ll have to build the bridge as you go.
According to the Health Research Institute of auditing company PwC, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which began in 2020, the medical profession will continue to face a variety of challenges in 2021 and 2022. One of these obstacles is mental health issues. Nearly a third of the Americans polled by PwC reported experiencing anxiety or depression as a result of the pandemic.
Our fight or flight responses can distort our capacity to respond logically in a crisis scenario. In order to help your organization, handle a crisis, you’ll need these in place:
First, put together a crisis response team. You do not need to hire any extra staff to fill this position. This entails instructing your own personnel at various levels of service and rank on how to support the company in the case of a disaster. These are the people who will help all other employees successfully through any crisis that the firm may be facing.
Second, practice and train for crisis communication. During a crisis, the rest of the world will want to know what is going on. Ignoring media demands for information is likely to backfire; even a simple remark like “A thorough statement will be provided as soon as feasible” may be effective if handled appropriately. Ascertain that each team member fully understands and is well-versed in their role in conveying information to the public via a range of venues, including broadcast and social media, as well as in person.
Third, respond swiftly. As you may have noticed, crisis situations take time to develop, so don’t make any difficult, long-term decisions straight away. At this point, your major focus should be on building concise, adaptable solutions that will allow you to respond as the event unfolds. You’ll be able to react swiftly and wisely if you give room for changes.
Fourth, communicate as quickly as feasible. You don’t want a situation to get out of hand before you consult with your staff and employees. The sooner everyone is aware, the sooner you’ll have access to a diverse set of thoughts and solutions. Furthermore, you should communicate frequently with your team in order to keep them up to date at all times and to enable for changes to be made when new information becomes available.
Finally, compassion is vital. A crisis scenario will have the same effect on your employees as it will on you as a business owner and leader. When your employees and team members are anxious, be sure you treat them with compassion. Instead of being paranoid all of the time, this makes them more creative, and solution focused.
At the end, you, as the owner/CEO, as well as your employees and firm, will be terrified to varied degrees depending on the severity of the crisis. Make it a point to initiate the recovery phase as soon as possible to let everyone recuperate and restore momentum. As a healthcare entrepreneur, your ability to deal with emergencies will be tested on several occasions. Your ability to handle and recover from crises will ultimately determine your long-term development and sustainability.
We experience and solve crises in so many ways in an organization. I will love to learn how you have managed a crisis in your healthcare business. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below