Cleveland, Ohio (PRWEB) February 13, 2014
When harsh winter weather hits Northeast Ohio, area hospitals oftentimes rely on The Center’s Emergency Preparedness team to respond to resource requests and provide critical weather and sheltering information.
During the recent harsh winter weather, The Center’s Emergency Preparedness team played an important role between regional hospitals and the Cuyahoga County and City of Cleveland Emergency Management Agencies (EMA). In response to issues of reported water line breaks due to frozen pipes and heating issues with frozen HVAC systems, The Center functioned as the liaison between the hospitals incident commander, the Emergency Operations Centers and the Ohio Department of Health Department Operations Center.
“When harsh winter weather sweeps through our area, situational reporting to the appropriate organizations is the key link to ensuring all agencies are covered for any type of assistance and resource requests they may need to get their facility back to normal operations,” said Beth Gatlin, RN, MA-HSM, ASPR project director, The Center for Health Affairs. “If resources are unavailable from local vendors, we have the ability to extend our network to all hospitals in the region and state agencies to request what is needed.”
A regional and statewide memorandum of understanding was signed by all hospitals in the state to ensure necessary resources are shared with affected hospitals during extreme weather events.
“The regional memorandum has been activated infrequently over the last six years for requests such as industrial air conditioners and fans during the heat of summer when HVAC systems go down, potable water supplies for patients and staff when a water main breaks and most recently for carpet extractors and blowers for flood clean up.” Gatlin said.
The Center’s Emergency Preparedness team has built this communication network for hospitals to use between and among systems. It ties them directly to each other and to other community response agencies and emergency management.
“All emergencies begin locally, but if assistance is needed a well-planned communication network eases the burden of hospitals’ resource requests and improves the hospitals’ ability to maintain patient and staff safety,” Gatlin said.
To learn more about how The Center’s Emergency Preparedness team responds to harsh winter weather and other emergencies, contact Beth Gatlin via email or at 216.255.3665.
As the leading advocate for Northeast Ohio hospitals, The Center for Health Affairs provides members with vital services and resources aimed at enhancing the region’s healthcare community. The Center delivers on this goal by focusing its efforts on areas that benefit from a regional approach: Healthcare Workforce; Emergency Preparedness; Public Policy & Advocacy; Finance & Reimbursement; and Community Initiatives. With a rich history as the Northeast Ohio hospital association, dating back to 1916, The Center serves as the collective voice of hospitals and the source for Northeast Ohio hospital and healthcare information. As leaders, we continuously scan the periphery, looking for opportunities to enhance the region’s workforce, better prepare our hospitals for an emergency, and increase the region’s wage index. And because of our business affiliation with CHAMPS Healthcare, we have the resources to provide a broad level of professional services to our members. The Center, located in downtown Cleveland, is proud to advocate on behalf of 38 acute-care hospitals and two long-term acute-care hospitals in six counties. For more, visit chanet.org.