Healthcare organisations are a critical part of a community’s resilience and play a prominent role as the backbone of medical response to natural and manmade disasters. The importance of healthcare organisations, in particular hospitals, to remain operational extends beyond the
necessity to sustain uninterrupted medical services for the community, in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster. Hospitals are viewed as safe havens where affected individuals go for shelter, food, water and psychosocial assistance, as well as to obtain information about missing family members
or learn of impending dangers related to the incident. The ability of hospitals to respond effectively to high-consequence incidents producing a massive arrival of patients that disrupt daily operations requires surge capacity and capability. The activation of hospital emergency support functions
provides an approach by which hospitals manage a short-term shortfall of hospital personnel through the reallocation of hospital employees, thereby obviating the reliance on external qualified volunteers for surge capacity and capability. Recent revisions to the Joint Commission’s hospital
emergency preparedness standard have impelled healthcare facilities to participate actively in community-wide planning, rather than confining planning exclusively to a single healthcare facility, in order to harmonise disaster management strategies and effectively coordinate the allocation
of community resources and expertise across all local response agencies.
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hospital emergency support functions;
surge capacity and capability
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2010
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Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning is the essential professional journal publishing peer-reviewed articles and case studies written by and for business continuity and emergency managers.
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