Disaster Planning

Latest Issue of OR Manager
July 2019

DHS releases action guide for healthcare facilities on active shooter incidents

Editor's Note The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued an action guide for active shooter incidents specifically for hospitals and healthcare facilities. The action guide includes potential indicators of an individual who may become an active shooter. It also gives recommendations for staff on what they should do if…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 21, 2019
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Imagining the unimaginable: Preparing for mass casualty

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Joint Commission require healthcare facilities to have policies and protocols in place for emergency situations and to hold regular practice drills. With natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, or fires, often there is at least some warning—some amount of time to…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
April 22, 2019
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Expect the unexpected: How we recovered operations after Hurricane Harvey

Whatever your facility’s disaster management plan, it needs continual refinement to account for the differences between imagined and real scenarios. Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston hard on Saturday, August 26, 2017, is a case in point. The storm brought more than 60 inches of rain within a couple of days,…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
April 22, 2019
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Nurses scramble to save patients, themselves from California fire

Editor's Note At 7:30 am, Thursday November 8, With the Camp Fire raging through Paradise, California, staff at Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise were ordered to evacuate patients and flee themselves, the November 11 nbcnews.com reports. After helping load patients into every vehicle they could find, surgical nurses…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 12, 2018
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California fires threaten safety of OR staff

On Monday, July 23, a trailer blew a tire at the intersection of Highway 299 and Carr Powerhouse Road in the Whiskeytown district of Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area in Northern California. As the driver tried to stop, the wheel’s rim scraped against the asphalt and threw some sparks into very…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
September 20, 2018
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FDA updates recommendations to reduce surgical fires

Editor's Note The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on June 5 updated its Safety Communication: “Recommendations to Reduce Surgical Fires and Related Patient Injury.” Among the recommendations: Perform a fire risk assessment before each surgical procedure. Encourage communication among anesthesia personnel, surgeons, and OR staff. Practice safe use and administration…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 8, 2018
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June 8 is Hospitals Against Violence National Day of Awareness

Editor's Note On June 8, the American Hospital Association (AHA) is hosting its second annual Hospitals Against Violence National Day of Awareness, termed “#HAVhope Friday.” The day has been set aside to focus attention on how hospitals, health systems, and their caregivers work daily to end all forms of violence…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 7, 2018
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Joint Commission issues new Quick Safety to prepare healthcare organizations for disasters

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on May 31 issued a new Quick Safety advisory to help prepare healthcare organizations for disasters such as, power failure, fire, flood, industrial accident, or cyberattack. The advisory, "Quick Safety 41: Emergency management: Need for continuity of operations planning," provides risk factors, safety recommendations, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 4, 2018
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Military-civilian partnership creates first fully integrated trauma system

Editor's Note The American College of Surgeons on May 23 announced that a partnership between the Military Health System and civilian trauma institutions is underway to create the first fully integrated military-civilian trauma system. The system will train military surgeons before deployment, help surgeons retain skills while deployed, and bring…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 24, 2018
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Planning eases compliance with CMS emergency preparedness rules

As of November of 2017, healthcare providers—including ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs)—receiving reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) were expected to comply with the 2016 Emergency Preparedness Requirements. And as with most government regulations, there are multiple pages of instructions to dissect and understand to satisfy the…

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By: Janet M. Boivin, BSN, BSJ, RN
May 18, 2018
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