Preparing for the Worst, Sets Business Up for the Best


NVNA and Hospice’s mission is to provide quality home care, wellness and public health services in the community. It’s both an authentic and ambitious calling for the independent non-profit that supports 27 towns on Boston’s South Shore, operates a 12-bed hospice home and maintains a daily censes of 600 patients. With so many people counting on the organization for compassion and care, it can’t contend with any kind of interruption in operations.


Recognizing that the best form of crisis management is preparedness, NVNA and Hospice turned to Hollywood Agency to help prepare for any given potential event. Working alongside its comms and operations teams, Hollywood drafted a crisis communication plan to address “any immediate or potential threat to NVNA and Hospice’s patients, operations, employees or good standing that could lead to significant (real or perceived) reputational damage.”


The plan provides guidance and specific instructions for communicating throughout a crisis, with collated audience information, call/text/email trees, message templates and more.


But putting a plan in place was only part of NVNA and Hospice’s vigilance in the process. To meet the home health and hospice emergency preparedness conditions of participation, the organization engaged Hollywood to feign a mock crisis to test its plan. Unveiling the situation just minutes before the drill, the crisis communications response team leapt into action, following a procedural process for gathering the facts, informing stakeholders, and preparing communications for employees, patients and partners.


Quite fortunately, NVNA and Hospice has only had to test its plan in simulation. But should an incident occur, the organization is confident its done everything it can to prepare for it.