Documenting a crisis in a care home could save your reputation
Posted by: Alistair Clay | 05.03.15

 

The key to effective crisis communications management can be summed up in one word – documentation.

Being in full possession of ALL the facts is absolutely critical if you want to give yourself the best chance of negotiating a media investigation.


Better still, having good systems, practices and procedures in place to monitor ongoing reputational threats will actually drive up the quality of the care you provide and stop an issue ever becoming a full blown crisis.
Being prepared for the worst, more often than not, actually prevents it from transpiring.

Many ‘crises’ actually start out far from that, they are often small issues which for one reason or another are never fully resolved.

This fact gives good providers a chance to address any complaints or incidents before they get out of hand causing unnecessary suffering to the care receiver and putting the provider in a state of reputational risk.

At Arc Seven we use a crisis communications checklist system to monitor all ongoing reputational threats to a social care provider, no matter how small.

The public, quite rightly, now expect care providers to operate in a much more transparent way and technology has given every resident and their loved ones a megaphone to broadcast their displeasure with any element of your care.

Sometimes this criticism is justified, sometimes not, but what can quickly settle the matter is being in full possession of the facts of the complaint with clear timelines of agreed actions – effective documentation.

Having the facts can often take the emotion and the heat out of the issue and a solution can quickly be found.

If things do take a turn for the worst, and you find the media parked outside the front door of one of your care homes, then your documentation will give you the information you need quickly, and the confidence, to form a robust media statement based on facts and truth, not guess work.

Having effective crisis communications documentation and systems in place is an insurance policy that no decent provider can afford to ignore in the age of media scrutiny.