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Disaster Survival for Healthcare Facilities


By Cathryn Jakicic Emergency Preparedness
post-hurricane flooding in a downtown city

What can a healthcare facility learn from surviving a crisis? Three such facilities — Sutter Health in California, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, and a standalone Texas clinic— recently shared their lessons learned related to emergency preparedness and successful disaster response.

Surviving can require everything from thorough communication, coordination and cloud-based EHRs. Sutter Health faced Northern California wildfires. The fact that the facility had its own independent water source meant that it was not subject to complications from the failure of the city water system, according to Healthcare Finance.

MD Anderson came through Hurricane Harvey largely unscathed. The facility has ride-out teams of roughly 1,000 staff in place for running the institution to avoid disruptions in patient care. Prioritizing information, ramping up communication and conducting multiple training exercises are key elements of Anderson's disaster plan.

Fannett Medical Center, a 40-year-old standalone medical clinic in Beaumont, Texas, rebounded after Harvey because of a cloud-based electronic health record system. The center also purchased portable wifi stations so that no matter where staff were, they could access patient records and communicate.

This Quick Read was submitted by Cathryn Jakicic, Healthcare Industries Editor, FacilitiesNet. For more about hospital campuses and other medical facilities, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/healthcarefacilities.

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