Recently, many people have reached out to me and asked what is happening in hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so I wanted to share my experience and provide some insights.
I trained with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in emergency preparedness at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama. I also was the director of the emergency department at Mount Sinai Beth Israel during disasters including Hurricane Sandy.
Hospitals have set up Incident Command Centers (ICS), run by hospital leadership and emergency management professionals with representatives from medical leadership, facilities, legal, regulatory affairs and finance. ICS is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, staff, procedures, and communications, operating within an organizational structure. Hospital operations during these times runs through the ICS.
- Activities are typically broken down into 5 areas: command, operations, planning, logistics, and finance administration.
- Hospitals coordinate efforts with outside agencies such as the CDC, state and local departments of health, hospital associations and other community agencies.
- Hospitals have previously run drills and simulations, so they are aware of areas that they need to focus on during these times/
- Hospitals are carefully managing supply levels, especially of Personal Protective Equipment, such as face masks and gowns.
- One of the hospital’s most important resource, is their staff.
- Staff need to be able to work in order to care for our communities. Therefore, efforts are happening to protect them and keep them rested and able to work effectively.
- Many hospitals set up temporary clinics to manage the massive influx of patients seeking testing and care.
I want to take this opportunity to thank hospital staff and first responders for their courageous and committed work. We would not be able to get through this pandemic without our front-line healthcare workers and administrative staff.
For more information about the Coronavirus and what you can do to stay safe and healthy, view Coronavirus resources on my website, read my recent newsletters and watch my informative videos:
Anxiety amid the Coronavirus