Monday, July 23, 2012

Spotlight on Hawaii: Disaster Preparedness

When it comes to disasters, health care providers often rely on state and federal government response teams to get a community evacuated quickly and safely. In Hawaii however, providers are steps ahead with their very own emergency preparedness and operations management services program. HAH Emergency Services, a division of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH), provides emergency services to over 115 health care coalition members statewide, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home care and hospice, and community health centers throughout the entire state.

HAH’s program is one of the few in the country that brings multiple health care providers together to practice responding to a disaster situation. Recently the state’s hospitals received live training during the  Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC’s) 2012 Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HADR) event. Providers participated in a week-long series of naval exercises and disaster scenarios, complete with helicopter landings and patient transport. Planned by HAH Emergency Services, 23 statewide hospitals participated in conjunction with the US Navy, Hawaii State Department of Health, US Army, and other HAH Emergency Services Coalition partners.
Some of HAH Emergency Service’s main missions include:
1. Coordinate statewide coalition operations
2. Manage aeromedical and ground patient movement
3. Establish and operate 50-bed ACM for 48 hours
4. Coordinate with participating government agencies
5. Support joint public information initiative with US Navy Public Affairs
Are YOUR state’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities prepared in case of a disaster? How are you working with others in your state on disaster preparedness?

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