Healthcare Preparedness Planning
On any given day, a hospital emergency department may be at or near capacity. Through the Healthcare Preparedness Program (HPP), hospitals in Michigan are working to incorporate activities to surge beds and services 20% above the average daily census. Since 2002, hospitals and life support agencies have been developing, exercising and refining plans to handle an influx of patients during an emergency. Current initiatives around the state include, but are not limited to:
- Healthcare Coalitions
- Michigan Volunteer Registry
- Medical Surge Planning
- Pharmaceutical Cache Development
- Great Lakes Healthcare Partnership
Each year, new activities are prioritized through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Current initiatives are detailed in the HPP Cooperative Agreement.
The HPP is supported through eight Healthcare Coalitions. These coalitions work with local partners within each region to prepare hospitals, emergency medical services, and supporting healthcare organizations to deliver coordinated and effective care to victims of terrorism and other public health/healthcare emergencies. Each region maintains one full-time regional coordinator and one part-time medical director. The medical director is employed or contracted through a Medical Control Authority (MCA).
The MI-Volunteer Registry database functions as a centralized collection of volunteer contact information. Individuals interested in volunteering indicate their interests and contact information in this secure, electronic environment. A wide range of professions and roles are required to adequately respond during an emergency.
DEPR's medical surge planning prepares Michigan's hospitals to surge 20% above average daily census. An important first step in a surge is to care for injured persons within a traditional hospital setting. Additional strategies move patients outside of hospital settings.
In addition to surveillance activities taking place within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureaus of Disease Control, Prevention, and Epidemiology and Laboratories, DEPR has successfully implemented several innovative systems for web-based tracking and surveillance of health threats and hospital resources in Michigan.
During the early phases of a mass casualty incident, particularly an event due to a terrorist attack using a chemical agent, healthcare systems will likely be overwhelmed. It is likely that critical emergency pharmaceuticals and other vital medical supplies may be compromised or locally limited. Two standardized pharmaceutical caches (MEDDRUN and CHEMPACK) are available to support healthcare agencies to bridge the gap between the local, regional, and state resources.
During a mass casualty incident, the potential for an event to impact multiple states and cross state boundaries is significant. Therefore, strong coordination and cooperation among jurisdictions is crucial. The Great Lakes Healthcare Partnership (GLHP) is a consortium of jurisdictions located within FEMA Region V. Current efforts of the GLHP include developing operational plans for interstate communications and alerting, managing burn surge, pediatric surge, and an interstate medical equipment resource typing and inventory initiative. The GLHP strives to provide assistance in the first 24-72 hours of a significant incident when other resources are being activated through conventional channels.