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Contagion In Healthcare

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The currently evolving H1N1 influenza and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) emphasize the concerning threat of naturally occurring contagion. The recent experience from hurricanes and extreme weather along with the attacks of September 11th 2001 have confirmed that the United States faces a true threat of mass casualty incidents. These threats have brought to light that U.S. Healthcare organizations must be prepared, resourced and organized to respond to hazard impacts. Hospital administration must ensure that their facilities are prepared to handle hazard impacts, an examination of healthcare system response has shown that when there is a disaster the initial response to any medical need will always be based upon locally available health organizations and that effective healthcare response during a disaster is complex (Emergency Management Principles and Practices for Healthcare Systems, Second Edition, 2010).
Weather events like Hurricane Katrina have demonstrated the massive effects that can disrupt healthcare system operations with catastrophic results. The initial response to any disaster will always be based on available local health and medical organizations. Functional healthcare systems are critical during a
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Hospitals are dependent on external support and supplies, which makes them vulnerable institutions in an event of disaster. Any disruption of external supplies or support services can halt essential hospital operations, which can put the community, patients and staff at increased risk during a disaster. Having an emergency preparedness plan that is current along with performing continuous testing and training of the hospital staff ensures that hospital staff can respond effectively and efficiently to any disaster whether it is terrorism, weather or a pandemic
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