Lancaster General Hospital follows the four levels of emergency management activities - Planning, Response, Mitigation and Recovery. Our planning initiatives are done in an all hazards format. Planning allows us to develop emergency response plans to specific emergencies. The planning phase provides us the ability to identify the critical components to assure continual operational capabilities during an emergency. We are then assured appropriate availability of critical components. Prime examples of this can be seen with our abundant supplies associated with electrical, information technology and communication systems. Our response is driven by implementation of our emergency plans developed during our planning process. In order to assure proper response to emergencies, we have quick reference flip charts, full emergency operation plans (EOP), annual computer based competencies and conduct drills to evaluate performance. One such plan is our mass/multiple casualty influx-external disaster plan. This is a three tiered process:
First Level Response:
Assessment team consisting of nursing supervisor, ED physician, ED charge nurse and additional support personnel meet in the Emergency Department and determine the magnitude of the situation and determine if there is a need for a higher level response.
Second Level Response:
Influx of 10-20 casualties into the Emergency Department with additional staffing resources being brought to the Emergency Department. These resources include additional nursing and physician resources as well as additional support staff. The in house trauma surgeon and the ED physician will make the determination if additional trauma surgeons need called in.
Third Level Response:
Influx of 20 or more casualties into the Emergency Department. This level opens additional care areas in the hospital. There are additional resources that are sent to the Emergency Department as well as other care areas.
Response is coordinated through our Hospital Incident Command System. Relief and recovery are directed by having emergency lists of vendors that provide essential goods and services (portable toilets, emergency generators, contractors, etc.) These lists are maintained as part of our EOP. We have Memorandums of Understanding with 16 hospitals within our eight county region to provide assistance in the event of a large disaster. This assistance can be in the form of patient transfers, sharing of staff or sharing of equipment. Ultimately it is through our planning, response, relief and recovery preparedness efforts that we are capable of maintaining operations during an emergency impacting our local or regional area.