por Diana Bradley
, Staff Writer | August 13, 2012
From the August 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
“If another hospital in NYC goes down, we are all going to be impacted by it,” she says.
Meanwhile, certain health care facilities have alternative planning strategies. To prepare for emergencies like Katrina, Yarbrough and his team take a literal “two column approach” to planning. To start, a line is drawn down the center of a piece of paper to create two columns. The left-hand column holds a list of all the resources necessary for the hospital to operate day-to-day. The right-hand column contains the list of external bodies needed to furnish those resources. When the list is completed, Yarbrough tears the paper in half and throws the right side away. “You need to figure out what you need to do internally before disaster occurs to continue to supply the left column if the right side is gone,” he says.
Defining “disasters” and solutions
Quest Imaging Solutions provides all major brands of surgical c-arms (new and refurbished) and carries a large inventory for purchase or rent. With over 20 years in the medical equipment business we can help you fulfill your equipment needs
ACMC views a disaster as anything that disrupts the ability to provide care and treatment.
“In health care, most facilities use four categories to identify
Stretchers await patients
in the lobby at NYU Langone Medical Center
in preparation for Hurricane Irene
the types of events, as well as assess the hospitals preparedness for response, including: naturally occurring, hazardous materials, technological, and human-related,” explains Williams.
Hospitals need to be prepared for everything and anything, no matter how small the problem may seem – even as tiny as a squirrel.
“One of our main reasons for power interruptions is when a squirrel chews through one of our communication lines and fries it,” says Yarbrough.
Emergency management differs region to region. For example, flooding and coastal storms are a potential threat to NYU Langone, located 100 yards from the east river, according to Stevens. And in places like Alabama, tornadoes run rampant.
“When I was doing emergency management work in Birmingham, there were tornadoes,” says Yarbrough. “Whether you are protecting equipment, employees or patients during a tornado, you are building bunkers that can withstand high levels of wind.”
A natural disaster like a hurricane, meanwhile, is more of a double-edged sword, combining high winds and rising water.