Hospital Emergency Preparedness Essay

2091 Words 9 Pages
In the event of major emergency hospitals themselves have two main missions: provide patient care and protect their staff and facility (American Hospital Assoc). Hospitals and other healthcare related facilities are expected to respond in a coordinated fashion, since hospitals play an important role in disaster response due the treatment role. Healthcare facilities are responsible for preventing and reducing the spread of disease as well as injuries (Heide). Hospital preparedness has become a focus of local, state, and federal governments seeking to address emergencies or disasters that affect the public health. Integral to hospital emergency preparedness are numerous legal challenges the healthcare industry faces during a declared …show more content…
The absence of specific regulatory restraints can remove barriers for persons to act beneficially to mitigate the effects of the emergency and generally to protect the health and safety and preserve the lives and property of the people of the State without fear of subsequent criminal, administrative or civil liability (Cal Dept of Health). Immunity provisions triggered by the declaration of an emergency can protect some health personnel from civil liability, how personnel is affected by these laws depends on if they are a public or private sector employee, or a volunteer (Hodge et al).
State licensing typically sets forth minimum standards regarding the maintenance of a disaster plan. Evacuation procedures, measure for receiving an influx of patients and procedures for ensuring that records are maintained and accompany patients during evacuations. Also addressed are standards for dealing with an interruption of utilities. The Joint Commission (JC) requires hospitals to have an emergency management plan in order to be accredited at the federal level. These minimum required standards include the hospitals emergency plan, evacuation procedures, patient transfers, and communications. Other legal issues include the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), standards of care,…

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