Preparing for continued operation during a disaster is a key responsibility to our community. Texas Health participates in functional exercises with local partners and conducts internal drills, as well as communication exercises with area hospitals, emergency responders and other authorities to test our emergency response systems. We leverage the robust National Incident Management System, which includes the Hospital Incident Command System to maximize patient and staff safety when activated.
Additionally, each Texas Health hospital:
- Completes a hazard vulnerability analysis annually to proactively identify issues.
- Reviews and tests its emergency operations plan, roles and responsibilities as well as conducts ongoing risk surveillance and reporting.
- Trains select staff on emergency response and communications, and how to maintain compliance.
- Assesses lessons learned to improve surge capacity, fire response, communication, decontamination, patient tracking, evacuation and business continuity processes.
In 2016, Texas Health significantly enhanced how it maintains continuity of operations for all critical clinical, financial and operational functions within each entity. We achieved this by conducting 21 days of intensive assessments and interviewing 459 leaders throughout the system.
We also formed a System Preparedness and Response team comprising professionals in emergency management, business continuity, safety, physical security and risk management. During the year, the team:
- Collaborated with Texas Health entities and external agencies to make the system and North Texas communities more resilient to disasters and crisis events.
- Completed internal risk assessments to align planning and training activities.
- Replaced decontamination equipment within all Texas Health hospitals to help protect patient and employee safety.
- Conducted campus security assessments, trained employees on safe behavior and adopted new strategies to increase fire safety and building evacuation awareness systemwide.
In 2017, we will continue embedding systematic approaches to be robust, reliable and resilient and to move the bar higher on our preparedness.