When a 404-bed healthcare facility was evacuated due to an arson fire, facility leadership trusted that all of the patients were safe. However, things happened quickly on the night of the fire, and no process was in place to pre-designate evacuation sites or to provide for effective patient tracking. For three days, the universal question from patients’ families was “Where is my mother?”
When Hurricane Katrina struck our nation, facilities struggled to secure the resources and assets to shelter-in-place or to evacuate. Again, healthcare facilities faced the question, “Where is my mother?”
In 2012, massive evacuations took place from Superstorm Sandy. Resources and assets were again scarce and yes, healthcare facilities were once again scrambling to answer the question, “Where is my mother?”
With over 30 years’ experience designing Regional Mutual Aid Plans, RPA has developed tools and proprietary web-based systems to help our clients not only answer the question of “Where is my mother,” but also to link them with community partners and other healthcare facilities. Using technology in a connected approach also realizes a much greater efficiency in response, often relocating patients in a fraction of the time of traditional methods.
By working extensively in the healthcare industry, RPA understands the critical nature of the internal workings of a healthcare facility and their interactions with other healthcare providers, local, state and federal agencies.
Our Mutual Aid Plans range in size from localized areas to entire states or even multi-state regions. These plans are unique as they involve the communication and coordination of emergency responders, state and federal agencies, emergency planners, public health and the healthcare providers.
RPA administers Mutual Aid Plans for Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as specific regions in several other states.
The above components could be delivered as a seminar to healthcare coalitions, based on where the group is in their planning efforts and which components would be applicable to all parties.
This program is usually delivered to either hospital groups for acute care planning, or to the long-term care industry to address planning for nursing homes, assisted living and residential care locations. However, many of the topics above can be stand-alone programs, ranging in duration from 1.5 hours to a 2 day “Boot Camp” approach.
In emergency events, facilities that are members of Mutual Aid Plans can find beds to evacuate their patients to in minutes. With the use of RPA’s web-based technology at MutualAidPlan.org, command centers can rapidly gather roll-up data in real time, combined with stored planning data to make effective decisions. Individual facilities can quickly report their status on-line utlizing a simple reporting wizard.