CHA News Article

Disaster Planning Conference Fortifies Hospital Preparedness

More than 800 people — including hospital staff, local, state and federal officials – gathered this week in Sacramento (see photo gallery) to strengthen hospital disaster preparedness and build collaboration to ensure continuity of care. The conference theme – Get Ready, Stay Ready – highlighted readiness and resilience in the aftermath of a disaster.

During the popular pre-conference workshop, focused on the potential for violent threats in health care, presenters shared lessons learned from a shooting incident in Reno, a full-scale exercise conducted by Scripps Health, and approaches to the psychological impact of hospital violence in the aftermath of trauma. Attendees were moved by the courageous narratives and were inspired to return to their facilities with new tools for increasing situational awareness, empowering staff, coordinating communication, and developing resources and community partnerships to prepare for and respond if the unthinkable happens.

Conference highlights included Queen of the Valley Medical Center’s response to the 6.0 Napa earthquake; Kaiser Permanente’s response, precautions and communications approach to a patient who may have been exposed to Ebola virus; Charleston Area Medical Center’s access to and transport of water to sustain medical services for six days after a toxic chemical spill contaminated the water supply; and the response and recovery by Vanderbilt University Medical Center to a thousand-year flood in Nashville, Tennessee. Twenty breakout sessions focused on business continuity after a disaster, pediatric preparedness, evacuation planning, simulations and strategies for training drills.

The conference concluded with a panel presentation on the mass-casualty FedEx bus accident in Glenn County. This session highlighted family reunification, mitigating overwhelming media response, coordinating communication among multiple agencies across jurisdictions, triage and transporting patients to five counties, and crisis counseling.

The conference was supported by an interactive app, DP 2014, which allowed attendees to access conference materials from mobile devices, share photos and post instant feedback.

To view a slide show of some conference highlights, visit our photo gallery. Conference presentations are available for download at www.calhospital.org/disaster-planning-downloads.

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