Let’s start with a case study. Ana Hamilton (our imaginary lead character) works for Triton City Hospital. Ana is the emergency communications manager in the hospital who deals with all communication processes during critical events.
This morning, Ana is having a regular day, enjoying her freshly brewed coffee. Suddenly, her phone rings. It is a member of the operations staff who wants her to send emergency notifications to everyone in the hospital immediately because a potential COVID-19 exposure in a common area within the hospital was detected. Everyone must avoid the area by any means necessary until it has been cleaned and sanitized.
Now, Ana can send everyone a text notification or a phone call telling personnel to avoid the area. All she needs is to do is write an SMS or record a voicemail and blast it out to all contacts.
The concept seems straightforward until you realize that there are some loopholes in the process!
“What if someone does not receive the notification Ana sent?”
“What if someone received the notification but did not read it?”
“What can Ana do if someone did not get the notification in the first place?”
Now the situation looks a bit confusing and troublesome, right? In situations like this, emergency managers must communicate to all stakeholders in clear, efficient, and effective ways to ensure that everyone is notified in a timely manner. With a manual system, achieving such levels of smooth emergency communication is quite challenging because there are so many manual processes involved.
For instance, in this scenario, Ana cannot call everyone to confirm that they are notified because that would take her hours! Even if people respond to her via SMS, she cannot track who responded and who did not. That leaves so much room for miscommunications and communication difficulties and that is something no emergency manager can afford.
Therefore, in these scenarios, the best solution is automating the entire hospital mass notification process.
Okay! How do we do that?
Well, you start with building a strategy. If you have a process in mind, you can easily find the tools and channels required to build the system.
In this blog, we are going to show you how you can build an emergency mass notification communication framework in four easy steps.
Step 1: Build a Custom Contact Registry
The first step of building an automated hospital mass notification system is building an accurate contact registry. That registry should incorporate all staff members’ information such as name, title, job responsibilities, and contact details. Contact details should consist of email, phone number(s) etc. Building a custom contact registry sounds like a difficult job, but it is not. Using digital means, such as online forms, hospitals can easily build a solid database of staff’s contact information.
Step 2: Template Messages
In this step, hospital emergency managers should generate a set of templated emergency messages. These templates should be built after anticipating and considering past emergency events and critical scenarios that may happen. Each template can follow a generic structure that includes details of the emergency, tasks to resolve a given emergency, and call-to-actions, which we will cover later. These templates will also have options to personalize messages, which can help focus recipients’ attention when they see that the message is targeted directly to them. For instance, each message can start like “Dear Ana”, instead of the generic “Hi.”
Step 3: Select Channels
Now that the templates are set, it is time to decide how to communicate your alerts. You can send emergency alert notifications via a single channel (like sending notifications via SMS) or opt for multiple channels (like SMS and voice broadcasting). You can also set the option to automatically choose the preferred channel set by every individual. If someone wants to get notifications via SMS when at the hospital, you can configure it for that individual.
Step 4: Message Confirmation Option
Now, remember the call to action we were talking about in Step 2? Using this feature, recipients can confirm that they have received notifications regarding any incident. This message confirmation option should be user friendly. For instance, if an alert is sent via email, contacts can click on a link. If it is an SMS notification campaign, contacts can respond by replying with a short, one word response, and if it is a voice-based alert, they can simply press a button. Their responses will be recorded in a central database so the emergency management can track who are not notified so they can take further actions.
Step 5: Reports & Metrics
Hospital notification progress can be tracked nearly in real time. Plus, after each alert notification campaign is completed, the hospital emergency management team can download detailed reports and use insights to build more efficient campaigns next time.
Now you have your automated mass notification solution ready for your hospital.
All you need now is find relevant digital tools and streamline those tools to create a complete solution to handle all hospital mass notification challenges.
Or, you can skip all the hassles of building a solution from scratch, or combining many different tools, and just try SimplyCast’s Hospital Mass Notification solution!
SimplyCast has built a plug-and-play hospital emergency alert solution by using our in-house technology. We have used our very own SMS marketing software, email marketing software, voice broadcasting software, CRM software, digital form builder, and marketing automation technology to build the solution.
We do not believe in the “one size fits all” approach so we have the option to customize the solution based on your hospital’s specific business requirements.
Sound interesting? Why wait? We are just a few clicks away!
Book your personalized, one-on-one demo with our experts today by clicking the button below.