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Emergency Preparedness

Staff Activities and Support

In the event of a disaster, the hospital will provide for staff support activities which include, but may not be limited to, housing/lodging needs, transportation needs, family support needs, and incident stress debriefing counseling.

Management of Space, Supplies and Security

The hospital may exceed licensed capacity temporarily in emergency situations.

Essential supplies, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, equipment, food, water, linens and utilities are available to meet shelter requirements for up to 96 hours without being supported by the local community. Procedures are in place for the procurement of additional supplies in an emergency. The hospital will contact the Region 5, DRC (Designated Regional Coordinator) or the parish OEP (Office of Emergency Preparedness) office for help to obtain and replenish medications and related supplies that will be required throughout the response and recovery phase of an emergency, including access to and distribution of caches that may be stockpiled by its affiliates or local, state or federal sources. At the time the Emergency Management Plan is activated, those assigned in security roles will be responsible for locking all exits and entrances with the exception of the ambulance entrance. Employees of the hospital are required to wear name tags. Only persons with proper identification shall be admitted to the hospital during an emergency. In the event of a disaster, the appointed security shall maintain control of entry and egress from the facility. The community security agencies will maintain crowd and traffic control for the hospital.

The CEO is to approve media access to the facility, with only the appointed public information officer interacting with the media.

Evacuation of Facility

Authority to order an evacuation is vested only in the Chief Executive Officer or his or her designee. Patients shall be evacuated to an area of safety by whatever means are available. Formal agreements are in place with ambulance services and neighboring facilities to transfer patients as necessary. All personnel have been trained in evacuation procedures. Evacuation routes are posted throughout the hospital. Refer to the Louisiana Hospital Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan located in the BHS NIM/HEICS manual.

Establishing an Alternate Care Site when the Environment Cannot Support Adequate Patient Care

Formal agreements are in place so that patients may be transferred to a facility that can provide adequate patient care. The liaison officer will be responsible for interfacility communication between the hospital and the designated alternative care site and for retaining records of which patients were transferred to and from an alternative care site. The patient care unit transferring the patient is responsible for documenting what equipment was transferred with the patient so that the equipment may be retrieved during the recovery phase post-disaster.

The following agreements are in place: Ambulance contract agreements for transfer of patients between facilities; transfer agreements will be made between neighboring facilities; vendors will be contracted for emergency acquisitions of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, food equipment, water, linens, emergency repair services, etc.

Alternative Sources of Essential Utilities

The hospital will provide for alternative sources of essential utilities including:

  • An emergency source of electrical power capable of operating all essential electrical equipment and a plan for failure of the generator.
  • An alternate source of safe water.
  • An alternate source of safe medical gas and vacuum deliver.
  • Sufficient fuel to last for at least 96 hours of expanded operation.

Facilities for Radioactive or Chemical Isolation and Decontamination

There is a designated decontamination room with a separate ventilation system or ventilation shut-off available for radioactive or chemical isolation and decontamination. Personnel are trained in the response to radiation or hazardous material contamination.

Continuing and/or Re-establishing Operations Following Disaster

The hospital has mechanisms in place to restore the operational capabilities of the facility to pre-disaster levels. Once the disaster is over, the Damage Assessment Team including the Director of Engineering, Safety Officer, Risk Manager and Administration representative will begin assessing damage and environmental concerns to determine whether the facility can safely provide medical care to the community and a safe environment for patients, staff and visitors.

The team will:

  • Evaluate all potential environmental concerns for proper function, e.g., hazardous waste fuel tanks, to ensure there is no leakage into the local sewer or water system or any other impact of other environmental concerns.
  • Restore internal and external communication devices.
  • Clear debris and secure unsafe buildings.
  • Possibly call in architects and building inspectors to determine if the buildings are safe for occupancy.
  • Ensure employee support programs have been instituted, i.e., crisis counseling, flexible work hours, cash advances, day care, particularly if staff and the hospital have been directly impacted by the disaster.
  • Notify the community through local media services what services the hospital will be providing and where in the event services are moved off the hospital campus.
  • Ensure records and data have been protected and restore information as necessary from backup.
  • Keep detailed records.
  • Inventory equipment and supplies for damage and determine if additional supplies need to be obtained from suppliers. Pictures/videos will be taken of all damage to the facility's buildings, grounds, supplies, equipment, etc., including all off campus, for insurance purposes. Damaged supplies and equipment will be retained until approval is received from the insurance agent for disposal.