by Kelly Reed

Transfer + Evacuation Planning for Hospital Systems


I am an Apple user and a huge fan of the iPhone.  One of the app’s that I like to use on my iPhone is USA Today’s breaking news alerts.  Whether it is every day or every few days I receive an alert on my phone showing: Breaking News: Title of Story.  Unfortunately, the news alerts have become increasingly negative in nature.  Example: The Connecticut Elementary School Tragedy.  Each event traditionally brings a review of the disaster recovery plans, lock down procedures, security measures, etc… The following will outline some key aspects surrounding disaster recovery plans for Healthcare Facilities (Hospital, Health Systems, Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, Surgery Centers, etc.):

  • Patient safety must be at the top of any list.
  • Ability to maintain emergency power – Emergency power is important for many aspects of a hospital – i.e. life support devices.
    • Backup power sources
    • Emergency Testing Times – what time is right for your organization to complete “testing” while making sure not to disrupt your current operation?
      • Avoid elevator entrapments
      • Review and utilize test results
    • Improper planning can lead to expensive testing or even lawsuits!
  • Transfer Plans – how and where will you patients be transferred to?  Four key areas include:
    • Patient care plans
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Notification of families
    • Safety of staff
  • Evacuation Plan – What is your plan for evacuation? Think of your facility experiencing an event like the “Sandy or Katrina” and be prepared for the multiple steps/types of evacuation:
    • Defend in place
    • Evacuate single department, floor, or unit
    • Evacuate multiple floors  or units within a building
    • Relocation of an entire building to another building on campus
    • Evacuate the entire hospital campus
    • Citywide evacuation

Somewhere today, there will be the need for transfer and evacuation plans. Companies will be doing emergency testing today as well.  Most employers have plans like this somewhere in their office.   Consider updating, building a committee to review, hiring a firm to review, or using association/industry best practices for assistance.  Another great resource is your insurance agent and/or insurance company.  These types of plans are measured only by their success in the event of an emergency.  Provide your team with the best training and education so that everyone has a chance at success when an emergency does happen!

For more information contact Kelly Reed | 906.315.7227 | kellyr@vastsolution.com.

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