Emergency Management Tip: Restrict services during disaster

Emergency Management Alert, February 9, 2010

During a disaster or shortly thereafter, you need to be prepared and knowledgeable about how to continue taking care of patients. Cancel outpatient services, most likely therapy services, wound care, hyperbaric treatments, elective endoscopies, nonurgent special procedures, diagnostic testing, and others. Ensure that an adequate number of staff members are assigned to call all scheduled patients about their cancelled appointments and to let them know the hospital will reschedule them as soon as possible.

Also, restrict home health services if necessary during a large-scale disaster, especially if roadway access is limited because of unsafe weather conditions, roadway debris, sinkholes, or limited workforce scenarios. Home health staff members can call patients until conditions improve.

For more tips, check out HCPro's book, Emergency Management Coordinator's Handbook for Hospitals.

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