The Benefits of Emergency Preparedness in Healthcare

When disasters occur, hospitals are often the central point of local response. This is true for natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, or man-made disasters, such as terrorism. It also applies to epidemics of infectious diseases, whether of natural origin or man-made. Developing an emergency operations plan before a real situation allows staff to find problems that could occur during a real disaster and allows processes to be further refined.

Preparing our hospitals and other health facilities for disasters is a national security priority. The number of people who die from disasters depends not only on the seriousness of the event itself, but also on our ability to respond effectively and treat the sick or injured. To ensure adequate response and recovery in the shortest possible time, healthcare organizations must continuously monitor and update their emergency operations plans, maintaining a consistent state of preparedness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the cooperative public health emergency preparedness agreement (PHEP) in 2002 to better prepare state, local, tribal and territorial public health departments for public health emergencies.

The nursing process involves collaboration, which is the basis for effective emergency preparedness and the emergency management process. PHEP planning is a complex process, given the multiple influences and interdependencies in public health emergencies. The Chemical Reserves Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) has been in place for more than 20 years. State regulators and accreditors are already requiring health centers to develop emergency response plans and, according to a recent survey by the Medical Group Management Association, 78 percent of health leaders said their emergency preparedness plans now include emergencies such as natural disasters, computer system failure, workplace violence and active shooters.

In parallel with the HPP, the National Health Security Strategy (NHSS) guides the development of preparedness goals for healthy people through a framework for national health security stakeholders to develop community resilience, strengthen and maintain health emergency response systems, improve capacities, and improve capacities and prior. Data analysis employed qualitative content analysis and the lens of complexity theory to explain the complex nature of public health emergency preparedness (PHEP). Federal support for the hospital preparedness program has helped to increase levels of preparedness for emergencies, both large and small. The disaster plan began in the emergency department (DE) and ended when the patient was admitted to the hospital, died, or was discharged.

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