While is it that time of the year again, the good news for 2015 is that the National Hurricane center predicts a below-average hurricane season with zero to two Category Three hurricanes. Be that as it may, it takes just one to upend thousands of lives. The Yale New Haven Health System â€“ Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response (YNHHS-CEPDR) has worked with Veoci to develop a new and digitized way in which hospitals can prepare for the hurricanes with drills, and when a hurricane does happen, respond in an organized and efficient process.
On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, the teams presented “Developing Disaster Playbooks for Hurricanes”. Previously, the partners demonstrated their playbook on the Veoci system for managing the hospitals response to a suspected Ebola outbreak.
What is the Hurricane Playbook?
The hurricane response, while it shares the same general framework as for the Ebola response, has some key differences that account for the unique aspects of hurricanes. For example, unlike a no-notice incident like an Ebola outbreak, a hurricane is a “notice event” – since we can predict a hurricane’s development and impact, its response playbook is organized by time intervals according to the arrival of the approaching storm (120-96 hours, 96-72 hours, 72-48 hours, etc.).
Each time interval contains a specific Hurricane “Synchronization Matrix” – a checklist of all necessary tasks for preparation organized into sections such as “Storm Information Requirements”, “Critical Information Requirements”, “Hospital Command Center”, “Facilities/Logistics”, and others. These checklists are based on years of experience at YNHHS-CEPDR in their role as a regional and local response organization.
YNHHS-CEPDR chose to use Veoci’s Plans & Templates feature to set up the Hurricane Playbook for their client hospitals. The “Synch Matrices” and the organizational sections map easily into the Veoci structure with rooms and plans. The time flow is also built in and requires no programming. Each section has its own set of documents to be shared, processes to be initiated, notifications to be sent, tasks to be launched and assigned, and checklists to be completed. Finally, the hurricanes, landfall and timing sets up all actions at preplanned time offsets that begin five days or earlier if needed. The unique dashboards display progress on scheduled activities as the hurricane approaches.
Empowering the Hospital Emergency Operations Center has been the goal of both the Yale CEPDR organization and the Veoci product. Emergencies tend to drive chaos and only the heroics from the dedicated staff at the hospitals in the hurricane zone saves communities from catastrophes. Utilizing the technology of the Internet and of mobile devices, we are making strides for hospitals to help manage natural disasters with more process and less chaos. Hurricane season approaches quickly every year and drills are the best way to test your teams preparedness and ensure that your hospital is fearlessly ready. Are you planning to complete your tabletop drill before the end of July?