Working closely with our clients the HHK team has been what a colleague of mine many years ago called “Defcon 5”. The initial notifications and announcements are now in place regarding patient safety and patient protocols for well and sick visits. What’s next? Looking forward and thinking about the long view is our next step. Yes, you should continue to provide services. Ultimately, how you provide services needs to change. We are working closely with clients to change the mindset from safety notifications to patient, staff and income protection. The strategic shift from notifying to protecting and planning for the next 4 weeks can mean the difference between weathering this COVID–19 storm without long term economic and personnel impacts. Speaking of storms, most of our clients know what a week-long hurricane emergency looks like. Consider that impact to the bottom line like a short distance sprint with lots of energy placed at getting off the blocks rapidly and then throwing yourself into the finish line. Conversely, this emergency – this Coronavirus curve – is more of a long-distance run requiring pacing strategies that enable you to make it to the finish line. Here are a few helpful points of consideration:

  1. Staffing. School closures, illness, and fear impact your staffing over time. Consider how you will handle and what contingency plans can be made.
  2. Non-essential perks and protection. Services that lean more toward retail and cosmetics, in particular, will benefit from creative strategies to alleviate revenue losses. Communicate to patients what you are doing to ensure that receiving these non-essential services is safe. Take this a step further with virtual services. Let us know if we can help put together a plan of action.
  3. Meet them where they are at. Consider where your audience is right now and tailor your messaging, marketing and services to work in conjunction with the current experience. Be fluid.
  4. Screening. Screen employees and patients routinely to avoid closure.
  5. Cancel. Don’t be afraid to cancel, postpone and regroup on some services, events, classes and the like. Replace those with alternatives more in line with precautionary measures suggested by the CDC.
  6. Fear not. Don’t spread fear. Be organized, communicate all measures clearly with your internal audiences and keep the tone professional, not fearful. Sprinkle in a little happiness. For example, the CDC’s Happy Birthday song for hand washing. 😊

We are here if you need us to help you craft your targeted message and draft your “long-distance run” COVID-19 strategic plan.