by Alana Hallett
If you haven’t read or seen it in every major newspaper or news media, Ebola has officially arrived in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian patient who recently traveled from Africa, came into Texas Presbyterian on Sept. 25, 2014 with symptoms of Ebola, but was released with antibiotics. As to why he was discharged, that’s the question on everyone’s mind. DallasNews stated that Duncan returned two days after being discharged, and was officially diagnosed with Ebola. Presbyterian hospital announced Duncan died on Oct. 8, 2014. The even worst part, he not only died, but the two nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson have now contracted Ebola.
The real question, has Ebola affected the hospital’s ability to communicate? Bruce Haynes, Washington consultant, states that “mixed messages from Presbyterian created confusion that undercuts the public’s confidence.”
Due to the lack of communication and confidence between the hospital and public, the hospital hired Burson Marsteller, global PR firm to help them restore trust. Its public relations efforts include a new social media campaign illustrating the hashtag #presbyproud, as well as a series of videos posted on YouTube with messages from Presbyterian nurses answering the question: Do you feel safe working at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas? Daniel Varga, the clinical officer, is hoping to see a restoration in trust and confidence in the hospital to treat all patients. Will these new strategies work? Or will they fall at the hands of another fatal effort illustrating how not to handle a situation?
Yasmin, S., & Railey, K. (2014, October 17). Texas Presbyterian begins public relations effort to restore trust. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20141017-presbyterian-begins-public-relations-effort-to-restore-trust.ece