Archive for: Emergency Action Plans

Vital stats: Weather-related emergency action plans and evacuations

By: July 4th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

The compelling reports about the evacuation of St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, MO, after a tornado tore through the city May 22 is a sober reminder about severe weather hazards and the need for emergency action and evacuation plans.

Drills not included, has your healthcare facility ever had to actually initiate an emergency action plan or evacuate due to weather-related hazards? Our OSHA Healthcare Advisor weekly poll asked this very question. Below are the results:

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OSHA offers tornado workplace safety resource

By: June 21st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A new OSHA web page, emphasizes both preparedness and response in protecting workers from tornado danger.

Since tornadoes can occur without much warning, it is important for employers to make advanced precautions to ensure the safety of workers, according to OSHA.

Preparation guidance for businesses in tornado-prone areas includes:

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Notes from the field: You don’t have an emergency action plan?

By: May 25th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Sometimes medical offices are so focused on workplace hazards like bloodborne pathogens that they forget about other areas of OSHA compliance.

Recently as I was doing one of my mock OSHA inspections, I asked the manager if I could see the office’s emergency action plan (EAP). She had no clue what I was talking about.

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CDC report finds one-third of hospitals not ready for major disasters

By: April 21st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A CDC report found that nearly one-third of hospitals are not prepared for mass casualty disasters and epidemics such as influenza.

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Napa State Hospital security back in the spotlight

By: December 3rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A new question regarding security is arising in the October 23 alleged murder of a Napa State Hospital nurse.

Donna Gross was checking into the guard station after taking her break when she was murdered by Jess Massey, an inmate patient. Hospital security was questioned after it was found to let patients walk around at their own leisure.

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External defibrillators in the healthcare setting

By: November 18th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the design for external defibrillators will improve through a program to promote safe defibrillators.

External defibrillators are life saving devices used when people suffer from cardiac arrest, though according to The Los Angeles Times, they don’t always work properly.

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Emergency evacuation practices

By: August 10th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: We had a discussion at one of our clinic safety meetings about the practice of placing an “X” with chalk on the patient exam rooms in the event of a fire to identify which rooms were checked for patients before exiting the building. Is this still a recommended practice for evacuation? Do fire fighting personnel look for these “X” marks? Some of our clinics still do this while others do not. We would like to standardize our clinics on this issue.

A: This one of those concerns for which there is really no correct or incorrect response and ultimately should hinge on a cooperative review of the practice with your local fire departments.

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Digital flames train healthcare workers

By: August 6th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Spartanburg (SC) Regional Medical Center has begun using technology to instruct healthcare workers on RACE and PASS.

The acronyms represent basic concepts in fire safety and response:

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AHRQ releases report on selecting alternate care facilities

By: March 2nd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released a report on selecting and operating alternate care facilities during a disaster.

Alternate care facilities need to be carefully chosen and outfitted with appropriate equipment and materials for use when your hospital is inoperable due to a disaster.

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CDC releases pandemic template for primary care physicians

By: February 17th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Unfortunately pandemics aren’t just reserved for larger hospitals. This year, more than ever, many physicians realized their important role in managing the threat of pandemic influenza.

To reinforce that point, the CDC has released an “Abbreviated Pandemic Influenza Plan Template for Primary Care Provider Offices: Guidance from Stakeholders.” But this isn’t your typical convoluted, lengthy guidance. It’s a 12-page template created by physicians, office managers, hospitals, local and state public health departments, and local and state emergency management agencies to help physician offices quickly and effectively prepare for pandemic influenza now, or in the future. The CDC plans to release a more robust Pandemic Influenza Organizer in the spring.

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Weekly poll: Battling winter weather

By: February 15th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

With areas like Dallas and Washington D.C. experiencing some winter weather that’s usually found in the northern regions of the country, many medical facilities may be searching for their winter weather emergency action plans.

Snow storms can bring in additional patients due to car accidents, or various other disasters. Medical facilities may also need to deal with power outages due to heavy snow. Some emergency action plans may require community planning and preparedness in order to deal with the aftereffects of a particularly strong storm. If your looking for more information on effective community planning using HSEEP guidelines, check out our March 25th webcast.

Does your facility have an emergency action plan for winter weather?

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Finding metrics for preparedness

By: May 18th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

OSHA Healthcare Advisor blogger Steve MacArthur presents some cogent observations on the need to be able to measure preparedness if healthcare facilities want to manage and improve responses to emergencies such as the current influenza A (H1N1) pandemic.

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