Summer months are the time to exercise your pandemic plans
Experts are warning of the biologic implications of the London Olympics. Now what?
Its Summertime, do you know where your plans are?
Just because we’re out of the typical flu season is no rationale whatsoever to put planning and training for such an event on the back burner. I’ve been asked a number of questions recently pertaining to planning, preparedness and response capabilities. The sad fact is that, despite effort and dollars, most pandemic and biologic event plans fall short of functionality. The overtone seems to be that the healthcare community and public health are going in one direction and traditional response groups are not going anywhere at all when it comes to planning for a biological event.
Each of the plans I’ve reviewed share a number of pitfalls by assuming:
1. The ability to communicate will remain intact and accurate/factual information will flow
2. Power and transportation will be readily available
3. Personnel will be healthy enough and willing to report to work
4. Civil obedience will be maintained both in the community and at healthcare facilities
5. Patients will be able to be evacuated to neighboring facilities or regions.
In addition, these plans do not mention the fact that every-day emergencies will continue to come to hospitals expecting treatment.