Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Healthcare Coalition mutual aid instruments should also include guidance on how to acquire and manage resources during an emergency. This may include procedures for requesting, deploying, tracking, managing, demobilizing, and rehabilitating resources.
The following issues should be considered in developing procedural guidance for resource requests:
Transportation of resources should be considered when developing the mutual aid instrument. Stipulations should include how the resources will be delivered to the supported organization and returned to the assisting organization (as appropriate). A range of transportation options may be available, including the following:
Procedures governing the day-to-day transfer of patients between healthcare organizations are typically well delineated, but can be time and labor intensive. Modifications may be needed to expedite this process during an emergency and should address the following:
After emergency evacuation of a healthcare facility, it may be appropriate to grant courtesy privileges at receiving facilities so that the personal physician of a transferred patient can provide continuity of care in the receiving facility. The methodology to address this could be similar to granting emergency privileges. This may need to be addressed through medical staff by-laws and other administrative avenues.
Payment for healthcare services rendered in the care of patients who are transferred in an emergency may be another consideration to address in the Coalition’s mutual aid instrument. Resolution of issues may require discussion with major regional insurers, relevant government health insurance, and consumer advocacy agencies to address:
During a large-scale incident, certain government authorized waivers may take precedent. The HCRT should work closely with its government partners to understand these implications prior to any emergency.
When establishing resource-sharing procedures, it is important to consider at least general guidance for rehabilitation and return of the shared assets. Issues for the Coalition to consider include:
Finally, a dispute resolution method should be established to address difficult issues that could arise between donor and requesting organizations during emergency response and recovery.
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