Good PR can fix lots of things. As it turns out, ebola hysteria might be one of them. At least that’s what the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and global PR firm Burson-Marsteller are hoping. Texas Health’s safety practices have come under fire after two nurses were infected with Ebola following the treatment and later death of Thomas Duncan, the first confirmed case of ebola in the U.S.
The hospital confirmed it was working with the leading firm known for its crisis management for companies like Tylenol and more recently, the Washington Redskins.
B-M was brought on board in hopes of repairing the damaged reputation of Texas Health. Since they’ve begun collaborating, the hospital has broken its silence by taking responsibility for the incident. Just as the doctors at B-M suggested, the hospital released an apology for its failure to contain the disease, citing their own malpractice as the cause of the contamination. The incident has raised some questions regarding the preparation and protocol of hospitals in dealing with such infectious diseases. The slip-up has left many asking if hospitals in the U.S. are equipped and prepared to deal with a crisis on this scale.
Organizations such as National Nurses United are asking lawmakers to create uniform standards and protocol for hospitals across the U.S., claiming that current practices will leave nurses and other hospital staff unprepared and at great risk.
So what’s the next step for Texas Health? Honesty and acceptance of responsibility are the first big steps to recovering from a crisis. With any luck (and the saving grace of B-M) the company will be able to turn this crisis around and use its newfound platform to create an example for other hospitals. There’s no saying how this will all play out, but if one thing is certain, it’s that Texas Health is in good hands.