Disaster Preparation in Hospitals: Is Your Hospital Ready?
Written by Angie Mansfield
Are You Truly Ready for an Emergency?
As a hospital worker or administrator, you know how important it is to be prepared in case of emergencies such as natural disasters.
But, while you may have a plan in place that meets state licensure or JCAHO requirements, your plan may not go far enough in the event of a major emergency.
Here are a few tips to make sure your disaster plan keeps you and your staff truly prepared:
Create a Committee
A disaster planning committee should be responsible for creating and implementing your hospital's disaster plan. The committee should include representatives from all departments in the hospital, including medical staff, administration, nursing staff, security, and communications.
By having a rep from every department, you'll be sure that every department's needs are addressed in your disaster plan.
Start Formulating a Plan
Once formed, your committee should consider every type of disaster your hospital may face.
Depending on your geographic location, this could mean hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, and more.
Next, have the committee assess your hospital's ability to handle a disaster, looking for any potential problem areas and concerns that need to be addressed. Inspect the entire hospital property and determine how a disaster might affect the building. Think about how health care will be provided during adverse conditions.
Things to Look For
Specific areas to look for during the assessment include:
* Does the property have a well connected to the emergency generator?
* If the local water supply is interrupted, how will water be rationed?
* Do any outside triage areas have sufficient power connected to the emergency generator?
* How will you provide food for everyone if it becomes difficult or impossible to leave the hospital grounds for several days?
* Do you have enough supplies on hand to keep the hospital going for at least 72 hours after a major disaster?
Cooperation with Other Agencies
Your disaster plan needs to address how your hospital will work with outside agencies to ensure enough supplies and evacuation abilities for the area. One way to do this is to form partnerships with other area hospitals to exchange personnel, equipment, and other needed items.
You'll also need to consider patients who may not be in the hospital at the time of the emergency, such as dialysis patients treated on an outpatient basis.
By discussing plans with family members to evacuate these patients, and ensuring you'll be able to quickly provide their locations to emergency agencies, you can improve these patients' chances of reaching safety and treatment.
Include the Aftermath in Your Plan
Many disaster plans only cover the actual emergency, and not the mountain of work your hospital will face once the danger is over. You'll have to have a complete inventory of all hospital assets to give to insurance agents in case of damage.
Have a plan in place for who will conduct post-emergency property assessments and file damage claims with your insurance carrier.
It will take time to come up with a comprehensive disaster plan that will ensure your hospital is ready for anything.
But if an emergency should strike, this planning phase will be more than worth it.
About the Author
Freelance blogger Angie Mansfield covers a variety of topics for both individuals and small business owners. Her work addresses such things as management, marketing, and social media recruitment.
LG launches purpose-built smart TV for hospitals
LG Business Solutions USA has announced two new hospital TVs that are designed to improve patient management and engagement while adhering to critical safety standards for healthcare facilities.
One of the TVs is LG's biggest ever screen for a hospital - the 65-inch 4K Ultra HD model. It has LG’s NanoCell display technology, enabling it to display vivid pictures, and provides built-in support for hospital pillow speakers and embedded broadband LAN capability, so hospitals can deliver video on demand without requiring a separate set-top box in the patient room.
It also includes configuration software with an intuitive interface for setting up the TV to work in a hospital setting, plus a software-enabled access point feature that turns the TV into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The second TV screen is the 15-inch Personal Healthcare Smart Touch TV with a multi-touch screen. It is designed to be installed on an adjustable arm for use in shared spaces or smaller patient rooms and will support LG's new, modular LG AM-AC21EA video camera, and HD video communication.
Both include support for video conferencing, and are UL Certified for use in healthcare facilities, a global safety standard. They also feature LG’s integrated Pro:Centric hospital management solutions, allowing hospitals and LG’s patient engagement development partners to personalise a patient's room, providing entertainment, hospital information, services, patient education, and more.
Additionally its communication platform makes it possible to conduct video calls between patients and clinicians or family.
“Our newest LG hospital TVs reflect ongoing feedback from the industry and include capabilities integrated to meet the unique needs of a critical market” said Tom Mottlau, Director of Healthcare Solutions, LG Electronics USA.
“Our healthcare patient engagement development partners requested an upgradable version of webOS for our Pro:Centric smart TV platform so they could more easily introduce new features for their hospital customers. For the latest versions of webOS, LG worked closely with our partners to make their request a reality and to deliver a hospital TV platform that can evolve over time.”