Buckle Up: Health Care PR Professionals Likely to Face Bumpy Ride Again in 2024

December 8, 2023

Senior-level public relations expert predicts communication challenges that health care organizations may experience as we gear up for the coming year.

// By Ross K. Goldberg //

Ross K. Goldberg is president of Kevin/Ross Public RelationsWhat is the greater challenge: identifying challenges that health care public relations will face in 2024 or limiting those truths to a 1,200-word article? The answer is clearly the latter.

Year after year health care public relations professionals see unanticipated new challenges pile up on those left over from the year prior until the hill becomes so high that scaling Mount Whitney seems to be an easier task. 2024 looks to be no different.

  • Workforce shortages and unionized workers demanding better wages and improved staff-patient ratios will continue.
  • Hospitals still will be challenged to arrive at a universally understandable way to define and measure quality.
  • Medical errors still will need to be explained.
  • Cyberattacks will continue to cause crises.

Issues such as patient safety, the changing role of doctors, and demand for pricing transparency all will continue to challenge the health care PR field. If you were expecting to get off that hamster wheel, better change your expectations, for these challenges will continue to keep ringing like an alarm clock that won’t shut off.

New challenges will emerge as well as politicians battling for power in the 2024 election joust about access to care as well as its cost. The outcome of those debates will test creativity and communication skills of those tasked with explaining how what happens in Washington affects their communities and constituencies.

And then there are the profound changes to be brought about by artificial intelligence, whose capabilities and limitations are being discovered and implemented in real time with no script and no best practices to guide the journey. AI may prove to be the cause of crises as well as the tool that resolves them.

Here are three other challenges that will demand attention:

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