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Renowned experts across the country are forecasting 2021 to have the highest number of Atlantic hurricanes in 30 years of hurricane seasons—following a tumultuous 2020 that saw a record 30 named storms. The Atlantic hurricanes are just a snapshot, however, as natural disasters and public emergencies come in all shapes in sizes.
When it comes to disaster preparedness, the healthcare sector must be at the ready. Care coordination on its own is a complex topic, but when bracing for events such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, hospitals and other treatment facilities face the inevitable reality of patient relocation. In these situations, patients may be displaced from their communities, sometimes hundreds of miles away from their local healthcare providers. For these patients, what often results is placement in alternative care facilities—whether in another town, or in a makeshift location that was quickly established in response to an emergency situation. Disaster response personnel working or volunteering in alternate care facilities typically do not have access to patients’ health or medication histories, nor access to electronic health records, making informed treatment decisions problematic.
While advanced health information technology is at the forefront of care coordination today, the everyday practices and information sharing that create seamless clinical connectivity across the healthcare spectrum have not been adopted uniformly when disasters emerge. In this eBook, “How to Improve Care Coordination During Natural Disasters,” Audacious Inquiry puts past disasters under the microscope to address gaps in emergency response and help emergency response personnel better understand the roles of technology and health information networks in supporting and coordinating patient care during these unique situations.
In this eBook, Audacious Inquiry discusses the following themes in detail:
- Disruptions in medical care
- Medication adherence
- Patient tracking and evacuation
- Family reunification efforts
- Preparedness and response via Pulse Enterprise™ and Emergency Census™