All-Hazards Emergency Operation Planning for Small Acute Care Hospitals, Outpatient Surgery Clinics, and Long-Term Care Facilities
August 15, 2016
Author: Doug Hall, Checklist Boards Corporation
“Call 911 for more ambulances and take these casualties to the hospital!”
The local hospital is the first thing on the minds of first responders and victims of a mass-casualty event. There is an expectationof the publicthat the emergency department can handleany crisis.
Recent events such as local terrorist attacks and public transportation accidents put a strain on local emergency facilities, but theyresponded with efficient, quality care. A larger mass-casualty eventwill not be self-limiting and lastmuch longer thana few hours.
Regional medical centers have made all-hazards preparations to respond tomass-casualty events. An importantcomponent of these preparations arethe dependence on smaller acute care facilities, outpatient surgery clinics and long-term care facilities. These secondary healthcare facilities need their own all-hazards emergency
operations planbeforea mass-casualtyevent.
Smallacute care hospitals, outpatient surgery clinics, and long-term care facilitiesneed to adoptlargehospitalemergency management principlesforan effectiverapid response to a mass-casualtyevent.For example, planning for:
Patient isolation, and
Patient staging for evacuation
Difficult triage and patient care decisions areneeded.Duringamass casualty emergency there will be no time to consult an individual or committee for direction.An all-hazards plan can make decisionsmore effective during this crucial time.
As with any emergencysome chaos can be expected. This can result in delayed care and injury to staff and patients. An all-hazards emergencyoperations plan can reduce the potential for delay and injury.
A mass-casualty event will place extraordinary pressures on hospital personnel. Good plans, good communication and good staff training will instill the discipline needed for the long hours and the extreme conditions ofan all-hazards event.
The goal of the all-hazards planfor secondarymedical facilities is to assistthe primary medical facilityas conditions change.
All hospitals, outpatient clinics and long-term care facilities need an all-hazards plan.
The main categories for secondaryfacilities are:
Located at the administrator’s conference room.
The chain-of-command is reviewed
Prospectivechain-of-command replacements are reviewed