January 06, 2010 | | Comments 1
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What’s your flu season story?

During this flu season, I’ve seen a lot of interesting applications of the incident command model as folks have ramped up, and down, and up, and down, finally arriving at a sort of plateau relative to implementation.

Some managers have gone so far as to activate their emergency operations center on a somewhat informal basis and provide regular updates to their organizations through the operations center.

Others have been able to get by with a more minimal approach, while still managing the event on something close to a constant basis.

In recognition that the regular flu season is roaring in the wings, are you good folks out there better prepared, less well-prepared, or sick and tired of the whole thing? Has anyone encountered any particular challenges or spectacular successes?

I know you’re not really supposed to do a hot wash until an emergency event has terminated, so let’s call this a warm wash.

So what say you, safety pros? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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Filed Under: CDC/infection controlEmergency management

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Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com.

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  1. Our hospital has been operating an informal Hospital Command Center since July (It was initially activated in April, but temporarily closed in May). We designated the HICS team as the “H1N1 Response Team” due to the longevity of the activation. Briefings are held regularly, although the frequency varies depending upon the H1N1 flu wave, but team members are always in contact via email and an H1N1 SharePoint site on our intranet. This site has been a great resource for consolidating all information regarding our response. Logs, action items, documents, tracking information and CDC, state and local agency notices are all uploaded to this space which is accessible by all team members. We plan to continue to operate in this fashion until the end of the pandemic.

    There have been a lot of lessons learned that have and/or will be incorporated into our Pandemic Plan. The plan was originally drafted with a much more lethal strain in mind (H5N1) and modifications were necessary for the H1N1 pandemic.

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