Communication Strategy - Public Education by hft13158


									Communication Strategy - Public Education

The strategy for the Pandemic Influenza Communication Plan is to tailor messages to
correspond to the phases of the outbreak. Public education and reassurance through
communication will be a key activity for public health authorities. The communication plan will
evolve phase by phase and progress from individual strategies to community wide strategies.
The phases are the Pandemic Alert Period (Phase 3, 4 and 5); Pandemic Period (Phase 6) and
the Post Pandemic Period.

The Interpandemic Period (Phase 1 and 2) will focus on general facts about influenza but
should also be utilized to increase awareness about pandemic issues and introduce concepts
that will be necessary during a pandemic.

Key messaging will focus on:
    $ General facts about influenza
    $ Influenza vaccine
    $ Universal hygiene behavior (including respiratory hygiene)
    $ The differences between seasonal influenza and pandemic influenza
    $ Reduce transmission of illness
    $ Planning for an emergency/pandemic
    $ Encourage/support emergency planning/business continuity planning with key
       stakeholders (municipalities, education, health sector, essential services)

During the Pandemic Alert Period (Phase 4 and 5) the communication strategy will attempt to
increase awareness of the Timiskaming Pandemic Influenza Plan and raise awareness of the
risks of Pandemic Influenza and the steps people can take to minimize it from spreading. In
addition, as sporadic cases occur, public education will be required to recognize symptoms of

Key messages will include:
    $ Behavior changes to reduce the spread of infection
    $ Social distancing strategies
    $ Signs and symptoms of influenza
    $ Universal hygiene strategies
    $ Stay home when ill
    $ What to do if ill (how to seek medical attention safely)
    $ Self isolation (in-home isolation)/quarantine contacts
    $ Prepare community/public for imminent onset of pandemic (Phase 5)

As the Pandemic Period (Phase 6) arrives it will be important to communicate clearly any public
health measures required as we move from individual sporadic cases to widespread community

Key messages will include:
    $ Medical interventions (vaccines and antiviral drugs) will not be available for everyone
    $ Plan for reaching priority groups with antivirals and vaccines
    $ Self imposed isolation information
    $ Infection control measures
    $ How to stay healthy at home and at work
    $ Self diagnosis-symptoms and prevention
    $ Self treatment if sick
    $ When to seek medical attention and where to go
    $ Caring for the seriously ill
    $ Death at home - what to do

Appendix E                                                                       Page 1 of 5
Communication Strategy - Public Education

     $       Bereavement counselling and support messages

The Post Pandemic Period will declare the end of the emergency. The communication strategy
should address public health needs, including grief and post-traumatic stress counselling, as
well as providing information on the re-establishment of essential public health services. In
addition to messages of recovery, the public will need information about possible relapse
(second wave).

Key messages include:
    $ Official announcement to the end of the emergency
    $ Announcement of restoration of services
    $ Continue promotion of key health messages - infection control measures
    $ Grief counselling
    $ Remembrance messaging; publicly address community emotions after pandemic
    $ Acknowledge contribution of all stakeholders/community members/residents
    $ Messaging about possible relapse, staying prepared, being watchful


1. Health Care Providers and Facilities:
     Focuses on       $   encourage/support compliance with FRI screening and infection control
                      $   monitor immunization rates among health care workers and provide
                          information back to those settings
                      $   provide/share with facilities copies of local plan
                      $   maintain awareness of the ministry’s Important Health Notice alert
                          system (IHN)

2. With Municipalities and Key Stakeholders:
     Focuses on       $   providing information on influenza pandemic/BCP
                      $   consultation for pandemic planning to ensure a coordinated local

 3. With MOHLTC (and PHAC):
     Focuses on       $   providing information on influenza activity in the district (surveillance)

4. With the Timiskaming District Advisory Committee and Board of Health:
     Focuses on       $   advising of Health Unit plans and developing a coordinating district plan
                      $   would provide information regarding influenza activity in the district or
                          any change in alert levels

Appendix E                                                                              Page 2 of 5
Communication Strategy - Public Education


The focus of communication will be about the status of the pandemic and steps that can be
taken to respond to the emergency.

     With Health Care Providers and Facilities:
         1. Establish/provide a health care provider direct line to THU
         2. Provide information on any changes and epidemiology of pandemic strain
         3. Provide information on PPE re: revisions to precautions
         4. Provide information on antiviral drug protocols/eligibility criteria
         5. As available, update on progress of vaccine production/criteria

     With Municipalities, Board of Health & Key Stakeholders:
         1. Provide updates on current status, availability of antivirals and vaccine
         2. Provide update on impact on the health care system in the district

     With MOHLTC (and PHAC):
         1. Provide epidemiological data as required
         2. Continue to monitor situation provincially, nationally and internationally.


1.   This period will declare the end of emergency
2.   Key messages should include:
        • Grief and post-traumatic stress counselling
        • Announcements regarding restoration of services as they occur
        • Continued promotion of key health messages - infection control measures
        • Remembrance messaging - publically addressing community emotions after
        • Messaging about possible relapse (second wave, staying prepared, being watchful
            for a re-occurrence of cases)


With the Public:
   • The PHAC will operate an around- the- clock public information line.

     •     The MOHLTC will utilize Telehealth, Infoline, website, fact sheets, media briefings/press
           conferences and advertising. The Infoline is capable of doubling its capacity within 48

With Healthcare Workers:
The MOHLTC has developed an information cycle where briefings will be held at the same time
each day:
     2400h:       Important Health Notice goes out - provides status updates and new direction for the start
                  of each day
         0830h:   Teleconferences with the Health Care Stakeholder Council (CMOH, EMU,
                  Labour assoc., regulatory colleges)
         1000h:   Executive Emergency Management Committee meeting (EEMC)

Appendix E                                                                                   Page 3 of 5
Communication Strategy - Public Education

     1300h:   Public Health Teleconference with CMOH, PHD, LMOHs and EMU
     1400h:   Teleconference with critical infrastructure sectors coordinated by the Provincial Emergency
              Operations Centre (PEOC)
     1500h:   Media Conference
     1630h:   EEMC meeting for updates

Healthcare workers/stakeholders will be able to call the MOHLTC’s EMU Healthcare Provider
Hotline at 1-866-212-2272 or use website at:


    •    This is intended to assist with internal and external communication on a daily basis and
         will be in line with the MOHLTC information cycle
    •    During the early pandemic alert period (present time) THU will monitor the provincial
         indicators at the emergency management unit of the MOHLTC website at
    •    Provincial status has four indicators - routine, enhanced, emergency and recovery
    •    Important health notices (IHN) are sent out by the province advising of the changing
    •    Organizations should implement their plans when their patients, staff or operations could
         be affected
    •    Initially THU will monitor and distribute these notices to the health sector
    •    The Ministry has committed to sending the IHN to the field for update and new direction
         at 2400h
    •    As the pandemic alert progresses THU may no longer be able to distribute these directly


     •   Each morning (prior to noon) issues to consider:
            o THU Pandemic management meeting (IM/IC/officers) for updates
            o Analysis of media clippings
            o Review and assess any overnight updates on new directions from MOHLTC
            o THU Information Officer communications meeting re: directions and assignments
            o THU Incident Manager briefs MOH (IC) as needed
            o Prepare update to THU staff and stakeholders (as needed)
            o THU updates are posted on website and sent out as needed

     •   1300 - 1400H - MOHLTC Public Health teleconference with Health Units
             o Prepare THU messaging as a result of above teleconference, schedule health
                 and/or municipal sector teleconferences as required

     •   1500 - 1600H - MOHLTC media conference

Appendix E                                                                               Page 4 of 5
Communication Strategy - Public Education

             o   Debrief with public information lead, communications staff and review,
                 summarize progress of assignments
             o   Review THU web content, debrief issues from hotline, previous
                 teleconferences, determine public concerns/ priorities
             o   Assess need for local media press conference
             o   Anticipate and prepare for next day

An overnight schedule may be considered if resources are available and service demands
require a 24/7 response.

   • adopt an information cycle and formalize with community stakeholders
   • develop a communication and distribution strategy for all the public education
      topics/materials (have content - how do we get it out there?)
   • develop with community partners (MH) a communication campaign for stress/grief

Appendix E                                                                        Page 5 of 5

To top