The Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition (EVHC) is preparing for a July 2017 roll-out of the new federal Hospital Preparedness Program to strengthen the health care system’s response to a disaster.
In November of 2016, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) released the 2017-2022 Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities guidance. This document outlines the ASPR Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) objectives for coordinated disaster and emergency healthcare delivery that will:
- Help patients receive the right care, at the right place, and at the right time
- Decrease disaster related deaths, injuries, and illnesses
- Promote post-incident health care delivery system resiliency
The HPP guidance describes the effective preparation healthcare organizations, healthcare facilities, hospitals, EMS, and healthcare coalitions can take to prepare for disaster response. Additionally, this guidance details the relationship between jurisdictional emergency management, public health and private sector health care delivery system in disaster response. The HPP guidance outlines four high-level capabilities that encompass the range of activities that lead to an ideal state of healthcare system readiness. The four health care preparedness and response capabilities and the Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition strategies to address them follows:
Capability 1: Foundation for Health Care and Medical Readiness. The EVHC will foster a collaborative and health care disaster response network through regular coalition meetings with stakeholders, disaster plan improvements, regional training and exercising, and gap analysis developed with threat and hazard assessment.
Capability 2: Health Care and Medical Response Coordination. The EVHC will continue to improve on the collaborative sharing of strategies, information and assets available in the region for response to planned events, emergencies, and training. Inclusivity of all health care provider types and support agencies is a continuing goal.
Capability 3: Continuity of Health Care Service Delivery. The EVHC will work with all jurisdictional stakeholders to ensure a health care system capable of recovery from a disabled or damaged healthcare infrastructure. The EVHC will support training and exercises which test and strengthen the health care system response and recovery from disasters.
Capability 4: Medical Surge. The EVHC will collaborate with ESF 8 agencies in the coordination of information and resources available for the region in response to patient surge events. The EVHC will continue to provide direct support of training, education, exercise and equipment focused at regional surge response capability improvements.
The complete 2017-2022 Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities is available at the DHS website at: https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/hpp/reports/Documents/2017-2022-healthcare-pr-capablities.pdf