Free Essay On Essential Public Health Services And Public Health Preparedness
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When there is an impending national disaster such as a terrorist attack, health centers, hospitals, and other medical facilities are seen by the general society as an essential resource for diagnosis, treatment, as well as follow-up for major medical related issues such as physical and mental illnesses because they offer critical emergency services and are open throughout, day and night. It is therefore very important for the hospital to have a public health preparedness plan for such an event.
No. 2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community
A major public health role involves diagnosing and investigating any health problems that could affect the public. A terrorist attack is a major public health concern in which the ordinary monitoring and surveillance tools, for example, observing doctor and crisis room reports, may not be the effective during such an attack. Rather, 911 calls, eyewitness reports, calls to various control centers, and ongoing environmental observing frameworks may give the first signs of an attack. During such an attack, an incidental or deliberate substance or radiological discharge could go undetected at first, in which case the hospital would need to be prepared for any additional support it may be required to offer once such a discharge or problem is identified. The hospital should develop a precise and quick monitoring and evaluation system that will help to diagnose and investigate any medical effects that could occur due to the attack (CDC, 2001).
In the event of a chemical or radiological discharge following the terrorist attack, it is important to distinguish the chemical agents that have been discharged and establish the geographical coverage of the radiological or chemical pollution. This is critical for making effective protective proposals, arranging purification and restorative treatment needs, and surveying and effects that could have affected the hospital. It is also important to work with hazardous materials responders who regularly give essential data and have the capacity to temporarily recognize the sort of synthetic or radiological discharge. It is also important that the hospital be able to assess victim medical needs and decontamination needs following the attack. It is very critical to evaluate the level of contamination and exposure to various hazardous compounds that could be released in the environment following the attack. This assessment is important for effective decontamination and providing the appropriate medicinal treatment. Notwithstanding, this evaluation would incorporate regulating and checking sterilization operations and giving restorative treatment referrals as well as incorporate a scope of additional services such as psychological counseling and support to the family and relatives of the affected people. The hospital should also adopt the directives established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for general population observation and monitoring during such attacks and apply them in order to help create the necessary framework for adequate disaster response in the event the attack takes place.
The hospital should also be able to cater for the huge numbers of unaffected individuals who are uncertain whether they are already affected by the disaster and could be looking for help since they are worried or are experiencing anxiety. The hospital should be prepared to utilize epidemiological strategies to collect and interpret data regarding the sort, time, and/or area of the imminent terrorist attack. Medical staff will utilize the normal strategies utilized for collecting data on various diseases to collect data about the important factors that could worsen the effects of the terrorist attack as well as any changes that could be made to help the hospital address the effects of the attack.
No. 3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
Communicating wellbeing dangers and wellbeing change guidance to people in general is a standard public health function. As a part of threat correspondence, instructing people in general before an occurrence means to guarantee that people are aware of some of the expected outcomes, give direction to appropriate action, and reinforce connections between of groups and health organizations and facilities. The hospital ought to utilize public education instruction endeavors to convey what dangers individuals could be exposed to due to the attack, how people ought to react to these dangers, and what resources the hospital will give during such an attack (DeSimone, 2009).
No. 4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
Responding effectively to any huge occurrence should include community and local health organizations, the local public health safety administration offices, along with the state and the federal government public health organizations and bodies. Coordination of these response activities is very important and the hospital should actively engage all stakeholders to ensure successful coordination (Hicks, et al., 2004). What's more, terrorist attacks present unique circumstances, for example, unknown health dangers, unfamiliar environmental health concerns, and the need for special treatment methods and medical supply needs. They may also require coordination among organizations not typically included under more-general health coordination and rescue activities. Therefore, this impending attack will necessitate the hospital to develop critical relationships with the community and local health organizations around and coordinate the dissemination of important data with these organizations in order to identify and solve any public health issues that may arise due to this terrorist attack.
No. 8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
It is essential to undertake specialized training for the healthcare workforce within the hospital since terrorist attacks bring about unfamiliar public health dangers and effects. Essential health related issues that may require additional training include clinical and environmental indications of exposure, protective measures that could be undertaken, novel treatment alternatives, evaluation and investigation techniques, and appropriate decontamination methods. In addition, the hospital’s non-medical staff will also be trained on the basic response activities in the event of the attack taking place.
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and continued patient evaluation
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, (EMTALA), is a legislation enacted by the federal government that governs what hospitals ought to do when prospective patients go to these hospitals regardless of the possibility that the hospitals’ emergency rooms have been closed in view of an overabundance of patients or to secure the wellbeing of current patients. Regulation 489.24 of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act states that:
“If any individual (whether or not eligible for Medicare benefits and regardless of ability to pay) comes by him or herself or with another person to the emergency department and a request is made on the individual’s behalf for examination or treatment of a medical condition by qualified medical personnel (as determined by the hospital in its rules and regulations), the hospital must provide for an appropriate Medical Screening Examination within the capability of the hospital’s emergency department, including ancillary services routinely available to the emergency department.”
Patients going to the emergency section of a hospital must be given the necessary medical and therapeutic screening examination Carol K. (2003). Triage is usually not equal to a therapeutic or medical screening examination but only helps to establish the order that the patients at the hospital will be seen by a medical professional and not the absence or presence of a medical condition requiring urgent attention. As such, the hospital, despite the amount of patients or patient mix that could arise before, during, and after the attack, must give screening and stabilizing medical treatment to these patients within the extent of its capabilities as required. These patients have come to the hospital because they require emergency medical attention and therefore the hospital has to provide the necessary examination and treatment.
The imminent terrorist attack is bound to cause a mass inflow of patient to the hospital requiring different amounts and levels of medical attention. Should the attack take place, the hospital will be faced with a large inflow of patients themselves at the emergency center requiring immediate first aid and other medical attention. The hospital is obligated under the EMTALA to give at the minimum a screening examination to all these patients.
Measures to keep up the electronic medicinal record framework amid the crisis
Remote Power back-up
It is imperative for the hospital to have a dependable Back-up power source. This source must be scalable to keep pace with any new growth or development within the hospital, while ensuring that all the important systems at the hospital continue to function even during cases of power outages. As such, the hospital should have a remote power back-up that is not located within the hospital in order to ensure this power source will not be affected in the event part of the hospital could be affected by the terrorist attack. Comprehending which systems at the hospital are the most critical is very important so as to prioritize those systems that should be safe guarded and allocated additional power back-up and those that could be sacrificed in the event of prolonged power outage affecting the hospital.
Utilizing the cloud
The cloud is an adaptable, financially savvy approach to execute electronic data recovery arrangements while ensuring that all electronic systems continue to run at the hospital. By utilizing the cloud, the hospital will get real-time data protection in addition to scheduled data replication that occur several times each day. This is very helpful because it ensures less loss of critical data and information that could affect the operations of the hospital if the hospital’s electronic data system is affected by the terrorist attack
Offsite data center
The hospital’s electronic data system playa a very important role in the functioning if any hospital as it contains all important data and information regarding patients seeking medical attention at the hospital, data on medical supplies, all medical staff information, financial information, and other administrative information required for effective running of that hospital. It is hence critical for hospital to build up an offsite data center where all the important information and data contained within the hospital’s electronic medical record system is replicated and stored at an offsite data center situated at a secure different location from the hospital.
Increasing the quality of care provided to the patients
The hospital would profit from building up a "reserve staff" model where doctors, medical attendants and clinicians who have resigned, the physicians who have changed professions to work outside of health profession, or individuals who are working in departments other than direct patient interaction are identified in order to help in the event the attack takes place. This will help as these individuals can quickly be integrated into the hospital system and perform some critical roles, providing the additional help required as well as permitting the specialized medical staff to pay attention to patients requiring specialized attention.
Since the terrorist attack is imminent, it is important that the hospital be prepared for the public health issues that may arise. It is important that the hospital is able to provide important medical services to the public in line with the ten essential public health services. It is important that the hospitals be able to ensure it adheres to the requirements of the he Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, have adequate measures to maintain the electronic medical record system during the emergency, and ensure the quality of care provided to the patients is not affected by staff shortage.
Carol K. (2003). "The Impact of EMTALA on Physician Practices," American Medical Association Physician Marketplace Report. Retrieved March 11, 2015 from http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/363/pmr2003-02.pdf
CDC. (2001). The Public Health Response to Biological and Chemical Terrorism: Interim Planning Guidance For State Public Health Officials, CDC, Atlanta, GA. Retrieved March 11, 2015 from http://emergency.cdc.gov/Documents/Planning/PlanningGuidance.PDF
DeSimone, C.L. (2009). Response of public health workers to various emergencies, AAOHN
Hicks, J.L., et al. (2004). Health care facility and community strategies for patient care surge capacity. Ann Emerg Med; 44:253–61.
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