Healthcare System Preparedness
Through funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, each state works to improve preparedness of hospitals and other healthcare organizations for a large scale public health event. Planning in this arena takes an "all hazards" approach. It includes planning for natural disasters (flood, winter storms, pandemics, other infectious disease outbreaks, etc.), as well as man-made events, whether intentional or unintentional (chemical spills, radiological events, explosive events, bioterrorism, etc.).
The Center for Threat Preparedness and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, in cooperation with various healthcare organizations around the state, support regional planning groups of hospitals, primary care centers, local health departments, emergency medical services agencies and others who have developed and continue to work on regional response plans to such events.
Critical issues for hospitals and the healthcare system include preparing for unexpected surges of additional patients. This issue is being addressed through such approaches as expanding internal facility capacity, establishing alternate patient care sites, and systems, supplementing staff though the use of licensed and credentialed volunteers, building caches of medical supplies, etc. Coordination of efforts is supported through sharing of data on resources as well as regional planning.
WV Hospital Regions
For additional resources in West Virginia, the following links may be useful:
For more information, contact Yolanda.K.Sowards@wv.gov.