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DISASTER READINESS: Evacuating NYC hospitals

This is a fascinating, detailed account of how North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System (Great Neck, NY, 16 hospitals) responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 by revamping disaster preparedness plans.  Of particular value were evacuation simulations, including a full-scale exercise in 2006, which led to the realization that the commonly-used method of matching patients to beds in a 1:1 way was not the best approach.  Rather, it was determined that hospitals would be designated to receive certain types of patients, based on their service line strengths.  All of this planning paid off in August 2011, when Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast and the health system successfully evacuated over 900 patients from facilities in flood-prone areas.

Source: Verni, C.  A hospital system’s response to a hurricane offers lessons, including the need for mandatory interfacility drill.  Health Affairs;31(8):1814-1821, Aug. 2012.  Click here for access to an abstract on the publisher’s website: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/31/8/1814.short Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org


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