South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 26, 2019
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June 2007 - Volume 3 - Issue 12

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Disaster Planning – Hurricane Preparedness at Northwest Medical Center

Experience has taught us that as healthcare professionals, we can never be too prepared to care for our patients, and for our family, when a disaster strikes. Living in South Florida, we are acutely aware of just how devastating and disruptive a hurricane can be. But there are other disasters that may come our way, and being prepared can never be taken too lightly. Well-designed plans for the hospital are vital, but so is a personal plan for each of us and our family. It is essential that our hospitals and our company have plans in place to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. It is just as essential that individuals have plans in place for their own family’s safety.

The "Code Ready: Prepared. Together" campaign is an HCA corporate initiative that is being rolled-out at Northwest Medical Center.

The communication plan is an extensive one, and includes providing each of our 800+ employees a "Hurricane Preparedness and Survival Guide". Along with the guide, each employee and physicians will receive a business-size card with the HCA Code Ready Emergency Hotline and website, and the hospital and local emergency hotline numbers.

The communication schedule includes a PowerPoint presentation to our department leaders who will then share the same message with their staff. In essence,

  • Know your facility plan
  • Make a plan and a checklist for your family’s safety.
  • Designate a place for your family to meet—one in your neighborhood and one outside your neighborhood.
  • Store adequate food, water, and first-aid supplies.
The message will also be shared with our community at various speaking opportunities which include chamber meeting, physician lectures, etc.

Over the next four weeks, periodic messages will be sent to our staff via our intranet, and posted in nurses and employees lounges, physicians’ areas, etc. The same message is being shared at a Physician Office Managers and Schedulers luncheon in May and June.

"The last few years has taught us painful lessons" states Rick Kennedy, CEO at Northwest Medical Center "and the key message here to our community, our physicians and our employee is "Take the time to prepare your plans. Be prepared. Be ready".

Preparedness is critical at home and at work. Let’s all be prepared. Together.

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