Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 3
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Harnegie, Mary Pat 2015. Penetrating the Hospital Environment and Promoting Library Resources. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, Vol. 15, Issue. 2, p. 217.


    Ricci, Karen A. Griffin, Anne R. Heslin, Kevin C. Kranke, Derrick and Dobalian, Aram 2015. Evacuate or Shelter-in-place? The Role of Corporate Memory and Political Environment in Hospital-evacuation Decision Making. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, Vol. 30, Issue. 03, p. 233.


    Hachiya, Misao Tominaga, Takako Tatsuzaki, Hideo and Akashi, Makoto 2014. Medical Management of the Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Incident. Drug Development Research, Vol. 75, Issue. 1, p. 3.


    ×

External Factors Impacting Hospital Evacuations Caused by Hurricane Rita: The Role of Situational Awareness

  • Erin L. Downey (a1), Knox Andress (a2) and Carl H. Schultz (a3)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X13000125
  • Published online: 14 March 2013
Abstract
AbstractIntroduction

The 2005 Gulf Coast hurricane season was one of the most costly and deadly in US history. Hurricane Rita stressed hospitals and led to multiple, simultaneous evacuations. This study systematically identified community factors associated with patient movement out of seven hospitals evacuated during Hurricane Rita.

Methods

This study represents the second of two systematic, observational, and retrospective investigations of seven acute care hospitals that reported off-site evacuations due to Hurricane Rita. Participants from each hospital included decision makers that comprised the Incident Management Team (IMT). Investigators applied a standardized interview process designed to assess evacuation factors related to external situational awareness of community activities during facility evacuation due to hurricanes. The measured outcomes were responses to 95 questions within six sections of the survey instrument.

Results

Investigators identified two factors that significantly impacted hospital IMT decision making: (1) incident characteristics affecting a facility's internal resources and challenges; and (2) incident characteristics affecting a facility's external evacuation activities. This article summarizes the latter and reports the following critical decision making points: (1) Emergency Operations Plans (EOP) were activated an average of 85 hours (3 days, 13 hours) prior to Hurricane Rita's landfall; (2) the decision to evacuate the hospital was made an average of 30 hours (1 day, 6 hours) from activation of the EOP; and (3) the implementation of the evacuation process took an average of 22 hours. Coordination of patient evacuations was most complicated by transportation deficits (the most significant of the 11 identified problem areas) and a lack of situational awareness of community response activities. All evacuation activities and subsequent evacuation times were negatively impacted by an overall lack of understanding on the part of hospital staff and the IMT regarding how to identify and coordinate with community resources.

Conclusion

Hospital evacuation requires coordinated processes and resources, including situational awareness that reflects the condition of the community as a result of the incident. Successful hospital evacuation decision making is influenced by community-wide situational awareness and transportation deficits. Planning with the community to create realistic EOPs that accurately reflect available resources and protocols is critical to informing hospital decision making during a crisis. Knowledge of these factors could improve decision making and evacuation practices, potentially reducing evacuation times in future hurricanes.

DowneyEL, AndressK, SchultzCH. External Factors Impacting Hospital Evacuations Caused by Hurricane Rita: The Role of Situational Awareness. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(3):1-8.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Erin L. Downey, MPH, ScD Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Department of Health Systems Management 1440 Canal Street New Orleans, LA USA E-mail edowney@tulanealumni.net
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

9.MW Chaffee . Hospital response to acute-onset disasters: the state of the science in 2005. Nurs Clin N Am. 2005;40(3):565-577.

15.D Saliba , J Buchanan , RS Kington . Function and response of nursing facilities during community disaster. Am J Public Health. 2004;94(8):1436-1440.

19.LM Brown , K Hyer , L Polivka-West . A comparative study of laws, rules, codes and other influences on nursing homes’ disaster preparedness in the gulf coast states. Behav Sci Law. 2007;25(5):655-675.

21.CS Cocanour , SJ Allen , J Mazabob , et al. Lessons learned from the evacuation of an urban teaching hospital. Arch Surg. 2002;137:1141-1145.

EL Downey , K Andress , CH Schultz . External factors impacting hospital evacuations caused by Hurricane Rita: the role of situational awareness. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(3):1-8

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
  • ISSN: 1049-023X
  • EISSN: 1945-1938
  • URL: /core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: