Describe one evidence-based strategy for leading emergency preparedness.
One evidence-based strategy for leading emergency preparedness is using effective training practices and policies and procedures that address various types of emergencies. Providing regular training to prepare healthcare providers for emergencies is an effective method in emergency preparedness. Education and training should be provided for what to do in case of epidemics and pandemics especially as we have navigated the unchartered waters of the COVID-19 pandemic (Dobalian et al., 2020). This has driven home the need to expand emergency preparedness trainings beyond those of hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, and loss of electricity, just to name a few typical trainings offered. Having the right policies and procedures in place direct staff to the appropriate way to provide care and services. Communication plans are one type of policy and procedures that is necessary to effectively communicate needs during an emergency (Taschner et al., 2017).
Identify one evidence-based strategy for shaping healthcare system outcomes in disaster.
One method for shaping healthcare system outcomes in disaster is to have processes in place before the disaster ever happens. This can be accomplished through partnerships with other agencies and resources within the same geographic region. The World Health Organization (WHO) called for “partnering” to encourage and mobilize support from various world partners to address and support the global health system (Pereira et al., 2020). Partnerships should focus on organizing and facilitating regions cooperation for preparedness and response in the health care system, develop collaboration projects, identify, and develop metrics, engage partnerships among similar agencies and health systems, and collaborate with professional organizations and nongovernmental groups to strengthen preparedness and identify and secure resources (Berwick & Shine, 2020).
Examine the disaster risks for your local community. Identify two priority concerns. Describe the significance of these issues of concern.
One disaster risk of my local community is the possibility of tornadoes. We live in tornado alley and as such we often get strong thunderstorms with the possibility of producing tornadoes. Our local health care centers must have processes in place to handle damaging winds and tornadic action. For instance, at the long-term care facility that I previously worked at, we had a process for announcing when severe weather was likely in our community. This included announcing what type of severe weather threat had been announced by our local national weather service. This provided a verbal prompt for staff members to take immediate action to prepare the facility and the residents for the type of severe weather we were likely to receive. This might include providing blankets to the residents and moving them to an interior location to protect from flying debris in the event a tornado did strike.
Another disaster risk in my local community is the possibility of fire. In the long-term care facility that I worked at we went through monthly fire drills and engaged the residents in the drills. We would move them to a secure location behind a two-hour fire rated door, or to an exterior location if appropriate. Alarms would sound and our pagers would go off to notify all the fire. We were all instructed to treat each drill, regardless of the type, as an actual event. Often, we did not know when a drill versus the real thing was going to occur.
Living in a very rural part of Nebraska, we had to have memorandums of understanding (MOUs) in place in the event of a disaster that our facility was not able to provide care of services for due to damage or lack of resources. The surrounding communities all shared in written format the type of resources they had available to them if they were needed to help provide support services to another community. This was all initiated by the Gage County Emergency Management Agency.
Identify one professional organization active in emergency preparedness or disaster response. Describe the services provided.
Gage County Emergency Management Agency is our professional organization in my rural community in Nebraska that is the main coordinator of the emergency. Prior to the Gage County Emergency Management Agency arriving it is often the nurse in charge who is the initial coordinator of the emergency. The Gage County Emergency Management Agency is a county agency authorized under the Nebraska Emergency Management Act. The primary function of the agency includes planning, acting as liaison between emergency operations agencies, updates Local Emergency Operations Plan, maintains Emergency Operations Center, develop, and maintain hazard warning systems, training of severe weather spotters, coordinating county-wide hazardous materials, planning and reporting of response, conducting various trainings for public including nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and other organizations (Wiegand, 2010).
Berwick, D.M., & Shine, K. (2020). Enhancing private sector health system preparedness for 21st-centerury health threats: foundational principles from a national academies intitiave. Journal of American Medical Association. 323(12), 1133-1134. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/10.1001/jama.2020.1310?utm_campaign=articlePDF%26utm_medium=articlePDFlink%26utm_source=articlePDF%26utm_content=jama.2020.1310 (Links to an external site.)
Dobalian, A., Balut, M.D., & Der-Martirosian, C. (2020). Workforce preparedness for disasters: perceptions of clinical and non-clinical staff at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 1501. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09597-2 (Links to an external site.)
Pereira, V., Temouri, Y., Patnaik, S., & Mellahi, K. (2020). Managing and preparing for emerging infectious diseases: avoiding a catastrophe. Academy of Management Perspectives, 34(4), 480-492. https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2019.0023 (Links to an external site.)
Taschner, M.A., Nannini, A., Laccetti, M., & Green, M. (2017). Emergency preparedness policy and practice in Massachusetts hospitals. 65(3), 129-136. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2165079916659505 (Links to an external site.)
Wiegand, L., (2010). Emergency manager. https://gagecountynebraska.us/webpages/emergency_manager/emergency_manager.html
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