Assume that you are the newly appointed Chief Continuity Manager for the Berwick Hospital System. Outlining the major risks associated with maintaining continuity of operations in the event of an environmental catastrophe, and making an outline of the basics of a continuity plan to cope such a scenario.
To: the Chief Operating Officer
Subject: Risks Associated with Environmental Catastrophe
Berwick Hospital System has identified some of the same vulnerabilities with hospitals in Louisiana that experienced Katrina and Rita catastrophes. In order to minimize the damage we might have in the event of environmental catastrophes, I summarized in this memo some potential risks of environmental catastrophes and a continuity of operation plan to cope such a scenario.
Berwick Hospital System is a health care organization located in downtown Chicago Illinois. The main hospital contains medical laboratories, 673 hospital beds, and five operating rooms. The hospital also have seven smaller satellite buildings on campus house including nursing home, hospice, and doctors offices for outpatient appointments and access.
An emergency according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”), is any unplanned event that can cause deaths or significant injuries to employees, customers or the public; or that can shut down the business, disrupt operations, cause physical or environmental damage, or threaten the facility’s financial standing or public image (FEMA, page 5). Before we can prepare a continuity of operation plan, we must analyze the types and possibilities of environmental catastrophes that are expected or anticipated in Chicago, Illinois. Although the mayor recently warned the hospital that the elevated railway station near by was found to be the target of a foiled plot of international terrorists to detonate large explosives, environmental catastrophes in Chicago include far more possibilities.
Included in the list of potential vulnerabilities of Illinois natural hazard are severe storm, tornado, flood, drought, extreme heat, severe winter storm, and earthquake. This list is yet to include environmental catastrophes such as crime and terrorist attacks. When developing a continuity of operation plan for Berwick hospital system, internal as well as external resources must be considered for these potential vulnerabilities. Illinois Emergency management Agency (“IEMA”) has conducted a study for potential emergencies and rated it accordingly to its level of caution.
Illinois Hazard Rating
|Severe Storms |Floods |Severe Winter |Drought |Extreme Heat |Earth Quake |Tornado |Terrorist Attack| | | |Storms | | | | | |
Severe |High |Severe |Guarded |High |Guarded |High |Elevated | | Key |Low
49-60 | |
In our plan for continuity of operation, I’d suggest that we give special attentions to all potential hazards rated above elevated for the first tier with more cautions and detailed steps. Then include other potential hazards that were rated for “Guarded” or “Low” for moderate precautions.
From the hospital’s capacity, we should anticipate that Berwick Hospital System host populations with elderly, infirm, special needs, and limited mobility in the nursing home and hospice facilities. These patients may be susceptible to increased risk in the presence or impending introduction of environmental hazard. Depending on which catastrophic event we faces, we may also experience disease agent that may be compounded by large-scale transmission such as contaminated water supply brought by floods. During the time of emergency, it is highly possible that we may experience increased numbers of outpatients and emergency access. We should also prepare our employees...