Boston Bombing Hurt Hospital Staff, Too

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media , April 29, 2013

Communication starts at the top
In Boston, leadership at Partners HealthCare prioritized supporting staff and kept care teams focused with direct, immediate, and regular communication. The nonprofit health system's integrated employee assistance program was ready.

"It's a fine balance, as it always is, in healthcare. Jobs can be very demanding, but you have to make sure providers are present for patients as well as themselves," says Henrietta Menco, LICSW, CEAP, Quality Improvement Manager at Partners and the EAP liaison to Brigham and Women's Hospital. 

"To help employees through a day like Marathon Monday, it's important to have direct and regular updates of information going on," adds Barry Wante, CEM, Director of Emergency Management at the health system.

Partners used an internal paging system to notify hospital staff and direct personnel to clear the ED and make room for a patient surge. And administration followed up immediately with an all-users email from the public affairs department, providing more detail about the explosions and city-wide response.

The emails continued regularly throughout the week, which ended dramatically, with a city-wide lockdown and manhunt. Through it all, the health system kept employees focused on their work with accurate, simple, and timely updates on a variety of channels, even social media, in order to stay out in front of any potential misinformation.

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