1. Regional Coalition Meeting
The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition will hold its monthly meeting Thursday December 12 beginning at 10:30 am. The agenda, the November meeting minutes, and the conference dial-in information will be sent to the routine attendees on the Tuesday prior to the meeting. The meeting will be held via our Ring Central conference call line.
2. Save the Dates
Upcoming training and conferences:
The Coalition will host a Basic Disaster Life Support course December 10, 2019 in Harrisonburg, VA. Please contact our Exercise and Training Coordinator Matt Cronin to register.
Questions regarding upcoming training, please contact our Exercise and Training Coordinator, Matt Cronin.
The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition is seeking a part-time physician to serve as a clinical advisor. The job announcement can be found here. We ask healthcare organizational staff to please assist us by spreading the word about this open position. As part of our grant funding requirement, we must hire a physician before the next grant period begins.
4. Memorandum of Understanding
We are pleased to announce that the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition continues to receive requests to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the coalition and non-hospital facilities. The MOU is designed for healthcare facilities that are not classified as an Acute Care or Critical Access hospital, and it is good for five (5) years before it will need to be renewed. If your organization resides within the Northwest Region and you have not signed the MOU, you can contact either the Regional Coordinator or the Medically Vulnerable Populations Coordinator to find out more details.
We are expanding our outreach to healthcare agencies within the region as a way of offering assistance to you and your organization. We ask for everyone’s help to spread the word by talking with your colleagues about the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition. You can contact us by clicking the Contact Us tab on our website.
Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association Credit:
Virginia Department of Health
Virginia Department of Health Weekly Influenza Activity Report
The Virginia Department of Health monitors the level of activity of influenza-like illness (ILI) each week from October through May. Those are the months when influenza (“flu”) is most likely to occur in Virginia, and that time period is referred to as the “flu season”.
The Virginia Department of Health uses a number of different data sources to determine the level of flu activity that is occurring each week during flu season. The main data sources that are used to make the weekly flu activity level determination are:
- laboratory reports
- outbreak reports, and
- data on visits to hospital emergency departments and urgent care centers for flu-like illness.
Flu Activity Levels:
Flu surveillance is not designed to count every person who has the disease. That would be nearly impossible because not all people with the disease are diagnosed by a physician and even fewer have their illness confirmed by a laboratory test.
Instead, VDH monitors changes in flu activity from week to week in each of the five health planning regions to look for increases compared to a baseline period. Activity is based on illness complaints that lead people to seek care in a hospital emergency department or urgent care center. Flu-like illness is defined as a fever along with a cough and/or a sore throat.
To view the weekly report, click here.
Health & Human Services
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Technical Resource, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange
Hospital Preparedness Program
The Healthcare and Public Health Sector Highlights
The HPH Sector Highlights – Preparedness, Resilience, and Response Edition is a weekly email produced by the HHS ASPR Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) on behalf of the HPH Sector Partnership. It provides updates on healthcare and public health critical infrastructure resources, tools and events related to preparedness, resilience, and response.
Preparedness, Resilience, and Response Edition Week of November 27, 2019
- Infrastructure Security Month Comes to a Close
- Now Available: Checklist on Law and Disaster Preparedness and Response
- WHO Publishes “Non-Pharmaceutical Public Health Measures for Mitigating the Risk and Impact of Epidemic and Pandemic Influenza”
- Updates to the CDC Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs
- New Resources Available from ASPR TRACIE
Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency
FEMA Releases Publication 1: We Are FEMA
Today, FEMA released the third edition of Publication 1 (Pub 1) and invites the whole community, including individuals and organizations, to read the new publication to better understand our mission and role in emergency management.
“Pub 1 is FEMA’s capstone doctrine, and explains the story of who we are, why we are here, what we do, and how we do it,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor. “It unites us in our purpose because together, we are FEMA.”
FEMA has a dynamic workforce comprised of different backgrounds and identities that strengthens our ability to help, relate, and support others during adversity.
- We face the unknown. We have a distinct role shaped by unpredictable and ever-evolving threats and hazards.
- We are a team. We unite to make a difference in the lives of others.
- We are leaders. We are Federal leaders and together we help people before, during, and after disasters.
Pub 1 will provide our partners and the public with an understanding of the agency and a framework for the whole community to unite in purpose and mission.
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
PER 211 Medical Management of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives, (CBRNE) Events course is scheduled for December 7-8, 2019. Please see the flyer for additional details.
PER 211 Medical Management of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives, (CBRNE) Events Course Stafford
NWS Basic SKYWARN course is scheduled for December 9, 2019. Please see the flyer for additional details.
SKYWARN Course Bowling Green
L954 All Hazards Position Specific Safety Officer course is scheduled for December 16-19, 2019. Please see the flyer for additional details.
L954 Course Announcement Manassas Park
G0205 Recovery from Disaster: The Local Community Role course is scheduled for February 10-11, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
G205 Course Announcement Stafford 2020
1. Ransomware attack prevents 110 nursing homes from paying employees, ordering meds
More than 100 nursing homes spread across the country are having trouble paying employees and ordering necessary medications for residents due to a ransomware attack on an IT support company for long-term and post-acute providers.
The attack happened last Sunday against Virtual Care Provider Inc. by Russian hackers and has affected 80,000 computers and 110 nursing homes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Several providers have expressed troubles with paying employees, ordering medications, accessing patient records and using the internet following the breach, the outlet said.
Russian hackers, over a 14-month span, used phishing emails on employees to infect the company’s computers and gain access to its network and find weak points, the report stated. They were later able to gain control of administrators’ accounts and steal their data.
The hackers asked Virtual Care to pay a $14 million ransom to get its data back, but the company couldn’t afford it, according to the report. IT experts stated that hackers typically target small-to-midsize companies that don’t spend a lot on good security.
“We take seriously our responsibility to protect the security and privacy of our customers’ data and are working diligently to restore these systems as quickly and safely as possible. Our investigation remains ongoing. We regret any concern this may cause,” Virtual Care President Zachary Koch said in a statement to the news organization.
Source: Danielle Brown of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News
2. Why You Need To Create Or Update Your Emergency Communications Plan
An emergency communications plan is essential for the survival of your business during and after a disaster. It’s also vital for your employees’ health and welfare, and it’s essential for keeping your customers in touch and informed. Depending on the type and duration of a disaster you will need communications to summon help, to protect your business assets and to coordinate operations and recovery. And the disaster doesn’t need to affect you directly to require you to use your emergency communications plan.
What’s an Emergency Communications Plan?
An emergency communications plan is an essential part of your business continuity plan. After a disaster, you will need to know what your options are as you work to protect your employees, keep your business running and help you get back to business after it’s over.
Read More »
Source: Wayne Rash of Forbes
3. Stop emergency department violence against nurses, physicians
Almost half of emergency physicians and about 70% of emergency nurses have been physically assaulted at work, according to surveys by the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association.
To address the issue of emergency department violence, the ACEP and ENA have launched “No Silence on ED Violence,” a new campaign to help prevent attacks and protect ED professionals and patients. The campaign’s goal is to support, empower, and protect ED workers by raising awareness of the serious dangers emergency health providers face every day. The program also aims to spur action among stakeholders and policymakers to ensure a violence-free workplace for emergency nurses and physicians.
Read More »
Source: Jennifer Thew of HCPro