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Health Care 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.
Since 2002, Michigan has established and maintained eight regional Health Care Coalitions (HCC) defined by geographical boundaries. These coalitions work with local partners within each region to prepare hospitals, emergency medical services, and other healthcare organizations to prepare for, respond to and recover from incidents. Their efforts address both short- and long-term impact to the healthcare system caused by an incident, such as pandemics, school shooting or terrorism. Additionally, each HCC has a role in response during a medical surge to support the healthcare system, to include communication and coordination across the region to the incident as well as providing limited resources, such as personal protective equipment and ventilators. HCCs they provide a level of stability and redundancy of preparedness and response services within their regions. Each region maintains one full-time regional coordinator and assistant coordinator and one part-time medical director.
Michigan Volunteer Registry
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.
Medical Surge Planning
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.
Pharmaceutical Cache Development
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.
Great Lakes Healthcare Partnership
The Great Lakes Healthcare Partnership (GLHP) members began meeting in July 2005 to discuss regional Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) collaboration that could benefit the Federal Emergency Management Agency/Health and Human Services (FEMA/HHS) Region V jurisdiction. The group meets monthly and includes the City of Chicago and states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Membership is comprised of HPP program leads and program staff. They are the point of contact, ensuring deliverables are being met and are in accordance with Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) requirements.
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 GLHP strives to provide assistance in the first 24-72 hours of a significant incident when other resources are being activated through conventional channels.
GLHP members develop and share emergency preparedness documents, plans and resources to improve medical surge capacities using a tiered response framework. In addition, members collaborate and encourage efforts of health care preparedness, develop planning documents to enhance interstate preparedness and response, and share and learn from the challenges and successes of other members. Current efforts of the GLHP include developing operational plans for interstate communications, alerting and managing of infectious disease, burn surge and pediatric surge, an interstate medical equipment resource typing and inventory initiative.