Developing a Communications Plan

Below are some questions to consider when developing a communication plan for your healthcare organization. These questions are not exhaustive; instead, they are intended to initiate and facilitate a conversation around necessary aspects of the communication plan.  


-Which local and state authorities should be contacted during an emergency? 

  • How do the authorities vary in different types of emergency situations?   
  • How might the means of communication differ depending on the emergency or the authorities being notified? 
  • What is the proper chain of command to communicate with various government entities?
  • Consider a communications plan matrix to help Incident Commanders determine who to contact and how? 


-What does the facility need to communicate to authorities in the event of an emergency? 

  • How does the facility convey to local and state authorities their ability to help others? 
  • How are supply and other needs communicated to local and state authorities during an emergency? 
  • How is the condition or status of the organization communicated to government authorities?


-What other organizations need to be contacted during an emergency

  • What should be communicated to NWHRN and how?
  • How will site diverts be communicated if primary communications are down?
  • Do mutual aid agreements or assistance plans exist with sister organizations to provide assistance during an emergency?  How will these organizations be contacted in an emergency?

-How are occupancy levels communicated to local and state authorities during an emergency? 


-How are vendors informed of changing supply requirements if you are unable to contact your vendors? 

  • Do your supply chain managers have a plan for emergency delivery of supplies even if you are unable to communicate with them?
  • Does your vendor have alternate methods of communicating in an emergency?
  • How will your Pharmacy or Transfusion Departments make emergency requests for supplies?


 -What redundant means of communication exist? 


 -Is there a community public communications plan, how will the Strategic Communications or Public Relations team support these efforts?

– Are there systems or methods for mass communications to staff and physicians?




ASPR TRACIE Communication Systems website