Online Program

Solutions of hospital evacuation planning through regional coalition development

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mary Devine, MPH, Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, Boston, MA
Barry Wante, CEM, MBA, Center for Emergency Preparedness, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
As seen during the hospital evacuations of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, the needs of high acuity patients during evacuation rapidly exceed local response resources. The challenges faced during an evacuation are finding available beds for a multitude of patients in need of specialized treatment, locating resources available to transport patients to receiving facilities and communicating with hospitals and public health agencies across jurisdictional borders. Seventeen northeastern hospitals created a coalition to address these current gaps in evacuation plans. United by a Memorandum of Understanding, these institutions created a tiered operations plan to support local evacuation response based on the needs of the facility and the resources available. Within the coalition, evacuating hospitals are able to communicate critical care bed availability and effectively communicate with receiving facilities and state responding agencies. The coalition has developed an HSEEP compliant exercise series to test the operations plan. Many lessons were learned during the creation of this coalition including ways to increase stakeholder accountability, the importance of multi-state systems awareness, and the underlying complexities that accompany moving patients with specialized care needs. The development of this coalition created a network of support among the large academic Northeastern hospitals. This coalition has worked with multiple jurisdictions to develop interstate protocols surrounding hospital evacuation. This coordination has led to easier facilitation among states and out of state hospitals.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate development strategies used by health care institutions to fill determined gaps within the emergency preparedness system. Identify the difficulties surrounding the reality of coalition building. List of five solutions to overcome those difficulties. Design a communication plan for multiple agencies within different states.

Keyword(s): Emergency, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the primary project coordinator of the development of the Northeast Tertiary Care Facilities Coalition. Currently I oversee the project management and grant dispersal of fourteen area hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital. As the Region 4C Hospital Coordinator, I respond to Boston emergencies and act as the liaison between Boston hospitals and emergency response organizations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.