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COVID-19 communication resources in a major health system: development and dissemination
  1. April Christensen1,
  2. Rachel Havyer1,
  3. Amanda Lorenz1,
  4. Adebisi Alli2,3,
  5. Molly Kilpatrick4,
  6. Molly Feely1 and
  7. Elise Carey1
  1. 1 Division of Community Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2 WellNEST Medicine, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  3. 3 Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  4. 4 Department of Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr April Christensen, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; christensen.april{at}


Objectives Early in the pandemic, institutional leadership recognised the importance of providing staff with practical, clinically based communication resources. This paper describes the process of cultivating and disseminating rapid communication resources across a multisite institution to assist others who may need to rapidly respond to communication challenges in the future.

Methods In April 2020, the Mayo Healthcare Incident Command System charged the Center for Palliative Medicine with developing and disseminating clinical communication resources within several weeks. The Education Chair for the Center for Palliative Medicine created a COVID-19 communication task force composed of clinician-educators with expertise in serious illness communication from all three academic Mayo Clinic sites. The task force elected to focus on providing accessible, just-in-time online content curated from existing resources and adapted to situational needs.

Results The task force developed one-page resources with example language on 16 topic areas. Topics included exploring patient values, discussing time-limited trials and making recommendations. The COVID-19 communication website was launched on 28 May, 6 weeks after the institutional request.

Conclusions Key takeaway lessons were the need for: (1) alignment with institutional need and priority, (2) rapid team formation with communication education experts across a variety of institutional geographic settings, (3) quick consensus on topic and content delivery to be practically helpful to clinicians, (4) collaboration with outside groups to use and adapt already available resources when possible and (5) early and iterative involvement with information specialists to help facilitate institutional dissemination.

  • Communication
  • Clinical decisions
  • COVID-19
  • Education and training
  • Hospital care

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  • X @ALorenzMD, @elisecarey

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published online. The fourth author name has been updated from "Bisi Alli" to "Adebisi Alli".

  • Contributors AC, RH, AL, AB, MK, MF and EC planned and conducted the project with leadership by EC. AC reported the work with review and edits from RH, AL, AB, MK, MF and EC.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests AC reports receiving contributor fees from UpToDate.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.