One of Orlando Health’s major lessons learned regarding communication was that we needed to purchase a mass notification system that can continually alert specific hospital departments and individuals to respond and provide immediate updates on the incident situation.
Closer coordination between the Internal Communications and Telecommunications Departments was another identified need. Overhead pages sometimes conflicted with timing of email blasts sent from internal communications. New processes between the two departments have since been established.
What we didn’t fully comprehend was how important it was to let team members use our communication channels to express themselves.
A few days after the Pulse event, our president and CEO received an email message from the CEO of the vendor that provides our online recognition program. Team members typically use this platform to send messages of thanks, called Kudos, to their colleagues for exemplifying one of our standards of behavior.
Employees of the recognition vendor noticed extremely high volumes on their servers coming from Orlando Health on June 12 and in the days following the tragedy.
More than 3,320 Kudos were sent from Sunday, June 12, to Saturday, June 18, 2016 — double the amount sent the week before the tragedy. The first related Kudos was sent at 6:30 am on June 12, followed by another 250 that day. On Monday, June 13, more than 730 Kudos messages of thanks and pride were sent, more than five times the number of Kudos sent the previous Monday.
Clearly our team members wanted to express themselves and were using Orlando Health’s recognition platform as a channel to do so. Here is a sample of the type of Kudos sent.
To: Members of ORMC Emergency Services
Kudos: I want to thank everyone that was directly and indirectly involved in taking care of all the ER patients this weekend. This weekend brought to light the fact that you are all Heroes. You took care of every single patient with professionalism and compassion in the face of these extreme circumstances. This weekend you all showed your valor, determination and commitment to this family. We are all here for each other in the good times and the bad times. I feel privileged and proud to work with you.
What we learned was that our role was more than communicating information; it also was providing team members the opportunity to share and communicate with each other. The results were several amazing video productions and countless messages of thanks and pictures posted on our intranet.