Emergency Management Tip: Planning for routine and altered standards of care

Emergency Management Alert, January 19, 2010

During disasters, your hospital will still need to treat persons who arrive with everyday emergencies, so it needs a plan to accommodate such nonevent arrivals, potentially in areas away from event-related ill or injured persons. Space issues could arise, for example, if a biological outbreak occurred. You would not want to expose a person who arrived with a laceration to those with a potentially dangerous disease.

Plan ahead by forming an ethics committee to develop decision pathways for applied standards of care to determine who would benefit most from scarce resources during such a situation. Return to routine standards of care as soon as disaster conditions begin to stabilize. For more tips, check out HCPro's book, The Emergency Management Coordinator's Handbook for Hospitals.

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