NEW! Catastrophic Surge & Evacuation Project

As part of our efforts in January 2019, the Near Southwest Preparedness Alliance applied for an additional funding opportunity available from the Virginia Department of Health. I am pleased to announce that NSPA was selected for this opportunity to conduct a Regional Catastrophic Surge Capacity and Evacuations Needs Assessment project within acute care and critical access hospitals.  Many of you may recall that in 2016, Long-Term Care facilities underwent a similar assessment to determine surge capacity and evacuations needs as part of the Long-Term Care Mutual Aid Plan. In addition, hospitals in the Far Southwest and Central Healthcare Regions have completed Catastrophic Surge Capacity and Evacuation Needs Assessments in order to obtain valuable planning information for hospital partners, state and regional preparedness partners and their respective Regional Healthcare Coordination Centers. The information from each of these projects is utilized by the respective region as well as by the Commonwealth of Virginia during critical incidents through Virginia Healthcare Alerting & Status System.

The surge capacity survey objective is to identify areas in the building(s), including specific rooms or areas within departments, which may provide surge capacity along with some specific steps necessary to accomplish a surge. Information provided to participating acute care and critical access hospitals will be physical surge capacity with area expansion notes, resources and assets for surge (staffing, equipment, and supplies), and patient categories of care.  A Hospital Command Center Tool will be provided that captures aggregate information for the unit or area and includes Surge Priority to assist with Just-in-Time decision making. The Transportation Evacuation Survey works to establish a process for rapid assessment of transportation needs in a full or partial hospital evacuation. The Transportation Evacuation Survey Tool will be provided to the Hospital Command Center with decision-making criteria for transportation needs.

NSPA will be sending Letters of Engagement to our Acute Care and Critical Access Hospitals within the Near Southwest Region this week. There is no cost for the facilities to participate. The only request is the involvement of appropriate administrative and clinical leaders for brief assessment interviews on mutually agreed upon dates. Upon completion of the survey process, NSPA will facilitate a regional training that reviews the data collection process, discusses surge and evacuation strategy options, covers scenarios where the hospital specific data could be utilized, reviews the unit specific tool, and discusses actions for the Charge Nurse in an event. NSPA looks forward to the addition of this project to our regional healthcare preparedness efforts.