Surge Management Workgroup November Report

The Surge Management work group convened via conference call the third week of November. The group continued the conversation around the topics of the public health role in hospital coalitions and electronic medical records in light of information sharing during disasters. The discussions led to several common themes. First, there is a real benefit for public health to be sitting at the table with hospital coalitions. Leveraging that partnership is key to reaching out to long term care facilities, nursing homes, surgical centers, etc. When the relationships are in place it’s easier to reach to all areas of sector. However, the group identified a few roadblocks, such as aligning a common language in communications and planning (for example, getting rid of jargon). There are some regional coalitions where needs of the rural and urban don’t get equally addressed. There was a discussion of how electronic medical records could affect public health and hospital coordination. Some questions the group will explore are: How does this fit into existing e-resource software systems? How can this information get transferred or shared during an emergency? How does mass fatality planning fit in?  The group will continue to determine how local health departments are incorporated into hospital coalitions and which roles should be assigned to who around surge management.

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