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HOW TO ADAPT TO COVID-19 FOCUS: Insightful Practices for Company-Wide Implementation

Articles & Insights Apr 29 2020

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, we invited Humana’s Dr. William Fleming, President, Clinical and Pharmacy Solutions and Crystal Witt, Crisis Program Manager to share insights on how their company is continuing operations during this unprecedented time. This blog entry highlights the interview on a podcast series entitled PandemicBuzz launched by Witt O’Brien’s Devin Sirmenis, Managing Director, Corporate Resilience. If you have not had a chance to listen, visit http://www.pandemicbuzz.com for the full library of podcasts.


Right Listening Posts

Companies must have the right listening posts on the front line. This is where organizations need to be listening to truly understand the problems that need to be prioritized and solved. Effective listening will drive confidence in the customer base and across constituents, shaping the ‘confidence meter’ and building brand trust and reputation.

Workforce Planning

As companies are moving from the containment phase towards the recovery phase, workforce planning becomes crucial. Workforce planning helps create a common understanding of how to rotate the workforce back to the office, how to prioritize scheduling and what the procedure is if new COVID-19 cases occur in the workforce. Companies should be patient and remain calm throughout this transition. Planning efforts to date and the installation of strong crisis management and business continuity programs provide the gift of time going forward. To move fast later, organizations must intentionally move slow now.

Interoperability in Healthcare

This pandemic shows people that there’s much more to do in terms of improving the interoperability between the key players within our healthcare system. Providers, payers, hospitals, customers and the government should do a better job of sharing real time data. Driving interoperability will allow for additional real-time understanding of a hospital’s capacity and the availability of Intensive Care Units within the hospital. The ability to create shared situational awareness across all the players in the healthcare system will lead to greater accessibility to shared resources, including personal protective equipment, components of testing, staff and beds.


For healthcare providers, telehealth is a powerful capacity builder. People need telehealth to thrive as the next way of care delivery so patients can get care wherever and whenever they need it. Telehealth is an important and vital element of home healthcare and is already poised to address concerns patients may have with physical interactions and potential exposure, transportation issues and geographic remoteness.


Witt O’Brien’s looks forward to the opportunity to guide our clients. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your company’s approach to managing this crisis, need support to do so, or if you would like to brainstorm next steps.

Devin Sirmenis


Devin Sirmenis is a risk and crisis specialist focused on corporate resilience and has served clients for 20 years as a trusted advisor. Devin works with executive leadership at Fortune 500 firms to assess and develop their crisis management programs, train crisis leaders, and stress test the ability to manage an enterprise threatening crisis through simulations.

Prior to joining Witt O'Brien's he led consultant programs at Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton and Perot Systems Government Services. Devin pairs his years of client experience with continuing education and has completed Harvard Kennedy School's Crisis Leadership Program, and holds a Change Management Advanced Practitioner certification from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.


Please listen to all of our PandemicBuzz episodes on one of your favorite platforms:

Apple Podcasts