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#06 From Lifesavers to Time Bombs: The Failure System Around Medical Implants.

Breast implants made of cheap silicone…

Pacemakers that trigger electric shocks…

Prostheses that decompose in the body…

“Implants improve the lives of many people. But every year, thousands of patients worldwide are implanted with faulty devices.” – Implant Files

The “Implant Files” and its Impact on Medical Device Corporations.

The “Implant Files” is a result of rigorous investigative research conducted in 2018 by an international consortium of journalists and media organizations.

This investigation into the safety and regulation of medical implants worldwide revealed numerous shortcomings – from inadequate clinical trials to a lack of transparency among manufacturers.

How does this affect your medical device corporation?

Simply put, being featured or investigated could risk your business continuity.

The powerful combination of media scrutiny and patient advocacy can be a significant challenge for any firm’s standing in the market.

The Role of Media and Patient Narratives.

Crisis Communication 101:

  1. Patients’ experiences are authentic and personal. The media uses them to provide a human perspective on issues which make abstract information more tangible.
  2. Stories from patients raise awareness about specific health conditions or medical issues. They often convey the challenges people face and can elicit compassion and empathy from readers or viewers.
  3. Patients personal experiences, treatments and recovery processes. These are useful information and advice to others who have similar health problems.
  4. Patient stories influence social change and policy decisions in health care. They can draw attention to grievances and help promote policies that improve healthcare.

Patients and media’s powerful role can shape public opinion, that’s why it’s important for corporations to be proactive, transparent, and engaging in their communication strategies.

Immediate Actions for Medical Device Firms:

  1. Monitor Media Reports: Stay updated with how your brand is being perceived.
  2. Establish a Rapid-Response Team: Ensure swift action during potential crises.
  3. Proactive Transparency: Regularly share insights about product testing and safety.

Key Crisis Communication Takeaways from the “Implant Files”:

  • Transparency: The “Implant Files” have shown the importance of communicating transparently and openly about problems and risks related to products or services. Companies and government agencies should proactively provide information and not hide potential risks.
  • Responsibility: In crisis situations, it is important to take responsibility and take action to solve or mitigate the problem. Shifting responsibility or shifting blame can significantly affect public trust.
  • Multi-Channel Communication: Crisis communication should be done on multiple channels to ensure that information is disseminated as widely as possible. This includes employees, traditional media, social media, websites and direct communication with affected individuals.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Companies and authorities should work closely with relevant stakeholders in crisis situations, including patient organisation, doctors, scientists and the media. Engaging these groups can help to make informed decisions and build public confidence.
  • Commitment: Crisis communication should not only aim to address the current crisis, but also point to long-term improvements. Companies and regulators should take action to prevent similar problems in the future.
  • Continuous Updates: It is important to keep the public informed about the progress made in dealing with the crisis. This can increase people’s confidence in the measures and efforts to solve the problem.
  • Learn from Mistakes: The “Implant Files” show how important it is to learn from mistakes. Companies and authorities should conduct internal investigations to determine what went wrong and take action to improve.

In Closing:

The “Implant Files” investigation has exposed certain gaps in our industry, bringing to light the need for enhanced vigilance, transparency, and proactive communication.

Such revelations have shown that, while implants have undoubtedly improved countless lives, there have been instances where patients have been let down.

Manufacturers, lobbyists, and even some medical professionals have been highlighted in these discussions, underscoring the potential business and reputational risks.

It underlines the importance of openness, transparency, accountability and cooperation in crisis communication. These principles are relevant in various crisis situations, not only in the health sector but also in other industries

Being prepared isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity.

Whenever you’re ready there are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Build a comprehensive crisis communication handbook.
  2. Prepare your team for potential crises.
  3. Seek expert advice for ongoing crisis mitigation.

Not sure if your issue is a crisis? Reach out to

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