The “Three C’s” of Healthcare Facility Disaster Preparedness
The “Three C’s” of Healthcare Facility Disaster Preparedness:
Hagerty Consulting in Physicians Report
Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey; the 2011 tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri; the 2013 West Fertilizer Company explosion in Texas; and the Boston Marathon bombing in Boston, Massachusetts: four very different incidents that took place in very different regions of the United States. But even though the four events were very different, they all shared a very significant similarity. Each required local healthcare facilities to carry out critical roles during response. In the Fall 2016 edition of The Physicians Report, Hagerty discusses the details of healthcare facility disaster planning.
What Makes Healthcare Facilities Different?
Healthcare facilities have a unique dual role in ensuring that they remain operational to provide care to their existing patients at both the time of an emergency or disaster, and in the days that follow. To do so, healthcare facilities must plan ahead for what to do when an emergency strikes.
The healthcare industry has taken strides to ensure healthcare facilities are provided with the disaster planning tools. The Joint Commission, a United-States-based nonprofit organization that accredits healthcare facilities—and with which many, if not most, healthcare providers are familiar—has established standards for hospital emergency preparedness. In addition, federal efforts, such as the Hospital Preparedness Program and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program, have been actively facilitating the establishment of local healthcare coalitions.
The “Three C’s”
Creation of an operational and comprehensive disaster plan for a healthcare facility can be boiled down to three major areas of focus—we call them the “Three C’s”—for healthcare facility disaster planning:
- Continuity of Care – Continuing the physical care of those currently seeking medical attention, while ensuring the full continuity of operations for the facility and the ability to serve a disaster-response role.
- Communication Channels – Managing internal and external communications channels as both become more crucial and more complicated than on a typical day.
- Coordinated Response Protocol – Developing a protocol for response within an organization, while also looking outward to integrate into a community-wide response.
You can download the full Fall 2016 edition of The Physicians Report here.
Ashley Wargo is a Preparedness Associate with Hagerty, located in the company’s Austin, Texas office. Ashley has most recently been dedicated to building out public health and medical resources across the country to be deployed under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). In addition to this endeavor, Ashley is dedicated to helping clients develop innovative planning, training, and exercise solutions to fit every need. Prior to Hagerty, Ashley served as a Domestic Security Planner for the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), and graduated from Florida State University with her Master’s Degree in Public Administration, focusing on Emergency Management and Homeland Security.