1. Regional Coalition Meeting
1. Regional Coalition Meeting
The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition will conduct a Supply Chain Management Table Top Exercise Wednesday February 26, 2020 beginning at 8:00 am until 12:00 pm instead of its monthly meeting. The Table Top Exercise will discuss supply chain interruption and actions based on the Emergency Operations Plan for your facility. Please register for the exercise because it will allow us to capture the number of attendees. For more information, click the link below. We will follow the exercise with an After Action Review (AAR) Thursday March 26, 2020. The exercise will be conducted at Augusta Community Care (on the Augusta Health Campus), 64 Sports Medicine Drive, Fishersville, VA, 22939. For more information, please contact Matt Cronin, regional Exercise and Training Coordinator.
2. Save the Dates
Upcoming training and conferences:
The Coalition is able to send to people to the 2020 NACCHO Preparedness Summit in Dallas. Please contact our Exercise and Training Coordinator Matt Cronin if you would like to attend the multi-day event. If you would like to attend, we must have your name and contact information before February 15, 2020 to allow us enough time to receive approval from VHHA and VDH. We are allowed to send and reimburse two coalition members for expenses incurred resulting from attending the summit. These members include healthcare organizational staff with responsibility of emergency management or are involved in emergency preparedness planning, fire, EMS, and local emergency management.
The Coalition is able to send to people to The Joint Commission Emergency Preparedness Conference in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Please contact our Exercise and Training Coordinator Matt Cronin if you would like to attend the two-day event. If you would like to attend, we must have your name and contact information before March 21, 2020 to allow us enough time to receive approval from VHHA and VDH. We are allowed to send and reimburse two coalition members for expenses incurred resulting from attending the summit. These members include healthcare organizational staff with responsibility of emergency management or are involved in emergency preparedness planning, fire, EMS, and local emergency management.
The Coalition is hosting a Supply Chain Table Top Exercise February 26, 2020 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Augusta Community Care Building at Augusta Health. The purpose of the exercise is to assist healthcare organizations identify potential supply chain limitations, evaluate the organizational Emergency Operations Plan, address short-term and long-term supply shortages, evaluate the organizational Continuity of Operations Plan, and evaluate methods to communicate supply chain interruption needs. We will also host an After Action Review Webinar on March 26th. For more information and to register, please click here for the flier.
3. Clinical Advisor
3. Clinical Advisor
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 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.
1. 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.
- FEMA Releases 2019 National Preparedness Report
- Hearing on “Flu Season: U.S. Public Health Preparedness and Response”
- Now Available: National Biodefense Science Board Recommendations
- New Training Course Available from NETEC
- Liability Protection for Public Health Partners
- TRACIE Webinar: Healthcare Challenges in Chemical Incidents
The Infectious Disease Update for the HPH Sector is prepared each month by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
- Chinese researchers reveal draft genome of virus implicated in Wuhan pneumonia outbreak (Science)
- New Ebola case in DRC lifts outbreak total to 3,393 (CIDRAP)
- Influenza B and influenza A viruses are the predominant flu strains seen this season (CIDRAP)
2. Cardinal Health Issues Hold on Select Surgical Gowns & Surgical Packs, Recommends Customers Discontinue Use
Cardinal Health has issued a voluntary hold for AAMI Level 3 surgical gowns and PreSource procedural packs containing these gowns as a result of a quality issue at a contract manufacturing facility. Cardinal Health recommends, and the FDA agrees, that customers should immediately discontinue use of all affected surgical gowns and PreSource procedural packs including the gowns because they cannot be guaranteed to be sterile. The FDA is engaged, and is working to assess the scope of potential contamination risk, possible supply chain disruptions, and impacts. This includes the potential risks to users and patients, which specific product lots are impacted, and potential impact on supply chain. It is understood that this issue may already be impacting patient care at health facilities, including cancellation of elective surgeries.
1. HHS Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics
Date: Thursday, January 30, 2020
Time: 2:00pm–3:00pm (ET)
At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to accomplish the following—
- Identify criteria for considering reducing or discontinuing opioid therapy.
- Discuss important issues to consider prior to deciding to taper opioids.
- Describe steps to promote patient safety prior to initiating a taper.
- Identify practices associated with improved outcomes when opioids are tapered.
Discuss management approaches to consider when there are challenges to tapering.
COCA Call Objectives
At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to accomplish the following—
- Cite background information on the topic covered during the presentation.
- Discuss CDC’s role in the topic covered during the presentation.
- Describe the topic’s implications for clinicians.
- Discuss concerns and/or issues related to preparedness for and/or response to urgent public health threats.
Promote health improvement, wellness, and disease prevention in cooperation with patients, communities, at-risk populations, and other members of an interprofessional team of health care providers.
2. Update and Interim Guidance on Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to closely monitor an outbreak of a 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China that began in December 2019. CDC has established an Incident Management System to coordinate a domestic and international public health response. Chinese authorities report most patients in the Wuhan City outbreak have been epidemiologically linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak. Chinese authorities additionally report that they are monitoring several hundred healthcare workers who are caring for outbreak patients; no spread of this virus from patients to healthcare personnel has been reported to date. Thailand and Japan have confirmed additional cases of 2019-nCoV in travelers from Wuhan, China. It is possible that more cases will be identified in the coming days. This is an ongoing investigation and given previous experience with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, it is possible that person-person spread may occur. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV as the investigations in China, Thailand, and Japan continue. Additional information about this novel virus is needed to better inform population risk.
L146: Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) course is scheduled for February 4-5, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
G0205 Recovery from Disaster: The Local Community Role course is scheduled for February 10-11, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
VEOC 100 WebEOC for Local Government course is scheduled for February 19, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
ICS 300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents course is scheduled for February 21-23, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Delivery Model course is scheduled for February 26-26, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
VEOC 100 WebEOC for Local Government course is scheduled for March 16, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
G191 EOC/ICS Interface course is scheduled for March 27, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
ICS 400 Advanced Incident Command Systems course is scheduled for March 28-28, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
VEOC 100 WebEOC for Local Government course is scheduled for April 7, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
G202 Debris Management course is scheduled for April 21-23, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Workshop course is scheduled for May 20, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
Additional course offerings by VDEM in Virginia
ICS 300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents course is scheduled for June 2-4, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
1. Virginia governor declares state of emergency following militia threats over gun reforms
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a state of emergency on Wednesday that bars any weapons from the Richmond’s Capitol Square from Friday to Tuesday, after he received credible intelligence that hate groups and armed militias are planning violence at next Monday’s Lobby Day against gun control legislation. Northam, who discussed the threats at a news conference, said the state’s law enforcement analysis found that the chatter on the internet and other venues mirrored similar messages seen around the time of the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, which left three dead and more than 30 injured.
Source: Ivan Pereira of ABC News
2. Vulnerability in Microsoft Windows 10 could allow hackers to spy on targeted computers
A vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system could allow cybercriminals to breach or spy on computer networks if exploited, according to the National Security Agency and cited by The Wall Street Journal. The NSA discovered the flaw in the digital signatures Microsoft uses to help prevent malware from being downloaded on a computer. If exploited, the flaw would allow hackers to download malware on the computer without being detected. Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability Jan. 14 and is recommending those using Windows 10 update their operating systems immediately. The Department of Homeland Security also issued an emergency directive Jan. 14, telling federal agencies to update their systems immediately. For users who have automatic updates, the patch for the vulnerability has been installed, confirmed Jeff Jones, a Microsoft senior director, in a statement to WSJ.
Source: Mackenzie Garrity of Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report
3. TJC clarifies 1135 waivers, which suspend rules during a disaster
Joint Commission (TJC)–accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals must have a process in their policies for requesting an 1135 waiver from CMS, which is issued during a disaster or emergency when conditions necessitate modifying or temporarily lifting CMS requirements. TJC’s recent clarification was to Emergency Management (EM) Standard EM.02.01.01, element of performance (EP) 14. The accreditor explained that surveyors don’t expect to review an actual 1135 waiver during survey; however, they will want to review your 1135 waiver request process and confirm that leadership is knowledgeable about the requirements.
Source: Brian Ward of Hospital Safety Insider
4. EMR-ISAC InfoGram 1/16
The EMR-ISAC InfoGram for January 16, 2020 contains the following articles:
- Wave of struck-by deaths prompts traffic incident safety message
- FEMA releases updated Community Lifelines resources
- Update on vaping-related lung injuries from the CDC
- Webinar: Communication Partnerships for Public Health Emergencies
- Cyber Threats