Emergencies can strike at any time. Whether it’s a natural disaster like an earthquake, hurricane, flood or tornado, or if it’s a man-made disaster like terrorism or an active shooter, you never know what could be around the corner.
You obviously can’t rely on a crystal ball to predict when most emergency situations are going to take place, but the next best thing is being prepared for a range of different scenarios.
For those working in hospitals and healthcare, emergencies can affect them in different ways to those who work in other kinds of organizations. These types of organizations often find themselves at the center of an emergency situation, especially when there is one with mass casualties seeking urgent medical attention.
Preparing for an emergency in the healthcare sector requires planning for both the surge in patients seeking medical attention, as well as what to do to protect staff and existing patients who can find themselves in the midst of a disaster. There’s also an important role to play in helping the community to recover from the disaster as well.
Have written plans in place
Your organization should undertake hazard and risk assessments to determine the disasters that are most likely to take place in your geographic area that would negatively impact on patients and staff.
Emergency plans should be prepared for this entire range of scenarios that could affect your organization, ensuring you specify how you will utilize resources and employees in your response.
Train your staff well
Your plans aren’t worth the paper they are written on if your employees don’t know how to implement and follow them when faced with a real-live emergency event.
It’s essential that you train your staff in the role that they are expected to play in the event of an emergency situation. Run drills and other role playing scenarios to assist them get practical hands-on experience enacting an emergency event so they aren’t thrown in at the deep-end when an emergency occurs for real.
Regularly review your protocols
Emergency preparedness in the healthcare sector isn’t something you can just set and forget. Rather, you need to constantly review plans and make adjustments to ensure that your staff and facilities are best-placed to handle an emergency when it occurs.
Invest in a good communications system
During an emergency situation, having reliable communication is critical. Not only is it important so that vital information is shared with the right people in a timely manner so they can respond, but is is also important to contain the message and stop the spread of misinformation.
Investing in a dedicated emergency communications channel like DeskAlerts is a great way to ensure that your employees are kept informed in the event of a disaster. This system allows you to send pop-up notifications to every computer in your organization at the press of a button, ensuring vital information is shared with as many people quickly.