Outbreak preparedness includes ensuring plans and systems are in place on a national level to detect and respond to an outbreak as soon as possible. This takes a multidisciplinary approach and a multi-sectoral approach.
First, it’s important to realize that a hospital doesn’t necessarily have an outbreak on its hands. A hospital simply has staff members or an individual in charge of emergency preparedness. The hospital may employ a consultant to handle this work for them or they can hire an individual to handle it for them. It’s also possible that the hospital is planning an outbreak and in their planning phase they already have in place some kind of system for outbreak preparedness.
If a hospital isn’t planning an outbreak, then how is a hospital supposed to prepare for one? They should be prepared for what could happen, but not be ready for what might happen. An outbreak can strike anywhere in the country and it can be anywhere at any time. There are many different kinds of outbreaks that could affect hospitals but most commonly occur in settings such as health care settings, military facilities, etc. Health care workers, health care facilities, and health care employees themselves are usually the first victims of an outbreak and they need to be ready for what is likely to occur when an outbreak does occur.
Another way to prepare for an outbreak is by being prepared to recognize a potential outbreak. This can be done through proper training. This means that every hospital needs to have a disaster and preparedness plan in place that includes a comprehensive list of all employees and staff members, their names, their positions and specific tasks, and any special training they will receive to help them become more prepared.
Once a list of staff members and staff positions has been established and the staff members have completed the required training, each employee should have a disaster plan that outlines what steps he or she should take should an outbreak occur. This includes proper training for the staff member regarding what to do if an outbreak does occur and where to go for help.
In addition to the disaster plan, each hospital’s staff should also be familiar with their facility and have detailed information about the specific needs of each department. All staff should be aware of what they are responsible for doing and what they are responsible for reporting back to the administrator and what the administrator is responsible for reporting back to. If one or two people in a department are responsible for more than others, then they should be given specific instructions as to report back to the administrator. Once these reports are made, they need to be filed so that the administrator can be sure that all staff are properly notified.