Over the past few weeks #Ebola has gripped the headlines, hospitals, and agencies practicing trial and error while consultants like Crisis Focus, LLC offering to help.  I heard one colleague report a client said ‘I don’t care what it costs but I want the training this week.’  That made if official:

Fearbola has gripped the US.  The actual chances of a community hospital being faced with treating an actual Ebola patient are extremely slim in the present climate. However we work in healthcare and can’t afford to take too many risks, so we are going to invest in preparing, albeit a little late.

As a Senior Leader healthcare and someone that strives to be a good financial steward, I want to encourage you to ask a question: Is there more than one use for this Ebola related purchase?  I know this is counterintuitive in disasters and sometimes a hazmat suit is a hazmat suit, but in many cases there are various returns on the investment, I have listed some examples below of additional returns:

  • PPE and Decontamination Training:
    • Staff teambuilding and appreciation: Teaching this class over pizza and drinks while everyone from a CNA to a COO learns how to put on the PPE demonstrates equality and creates camaraderie.    Furthermore it demonstrates an organization investment in staff safety.
  • Table Top Exercises:
    • Leadership Development: In addition to testing the organization’s plans, it is also a safe place to test how a leadership team works together and key leader’s decision-making skills.  Leaders are usually less guarded to this type of evaluation because their focus is elsewhere.  Disclaimer: Consultants must have experience in not only exercise management but leadership and organizational development as well.
  • Equipment:
    • Dual Use: Do not restrict the use of items (that are not consumable) to just disasters.  Western Shelter Style Tents serve as great first aid tents during community events, and look great with a corporate logo on top.

Finally, don’t be afraid to market and share.  Typically communities love to hear about and see how it’s hospital or service provider is preparing to take care of the community.


What are your favorite dual uses or hidden benefits?  Feel free to share in the comment selection below.

Jody Moore is a Principal Member of Crisis Focus, LLC, a full service crisis management and emergency planning firm.  He has received several innovation grants and currently serves as a Senior Leader in mulit-state health care organization.  Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.