1. Regional Coalition Meeting
1. Regional Coalition Meeting
The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition will conduct a Pediatric Surge Annex Planning Workshop instead of its monthly meeting Thursday January 9, 2020 beginning at 8:00 am. The workshop is a way for all of the regional stakeholders to get together to discuss best practices, identify the mission/concept of operations, identify tasks to support the mission, and develop detailed plan components. This annex will be used to train the regional coalition membership on the response needs associated with a pediatric surge event. Additionally, the regional coalition will conduct a Table Top Exercise in June to test the annex as required by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).
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. Cybersecurity Notification – Heightened Tension, Middle East
ASPR, in collaboration with HC3, H-ISAC, DHS and the law enforcement community, is actively monitoring an increase in malicious cyber activities as result of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. In the past, the Iranian regime actors and proxies have initiated destructive attacks against United States infrastructure; however, there are currently no specific, credible threats against U.S. infrastructure.
- Physical: Connect with law enforcement to ensure local threat information-sharing, review and communicate business continuity and response plans, refresh training and reporting procedures, and report any concerns: if you see something, say something.
- Cyber: Review the cyber security fundamentals of your environment, check offline back-up and recovery procedures, and review continuity of operations plans (including those of the 3rd party service providers).
A software-based tool designed to help hospitals evaluate their level of preparedness for mass casualty incidents
Mass casualty incidents have happened throughout the country in places as large as Boston, MA and as small as Newtown, CT. Hospitals need to be ready to respond with rapid treatment, effective triage, and coordinated communications to help them respond effectively when every second counts.
The Hospital Surge Evaluation Tool is a user-friendly peer assessment tool that was designed to identify gaps in a hospital’s preparedness and help assess its ability to respond to a mass casualty event. The tool takes the form of an essentially no-notice drill, and incorporates the real-life considerations of healthcare delivery in acute care settings.
The tool is intended for use by hospital emergency managers, hospital administrators, and clinical staff to assess and improve their hospital’s surge plans. It is not intended for use as an accountability tool. Hospitals need to exercise their preparedness for a mass casualty incident regularly. This tool can help hospital emergency managers to make recurring tabletop exercises a reality by providing a fully developed tabletop exercise that can be used at their facilities. In some respects this tool can be thought of as “Surge Evaluation in a Box”.
G775 EOC Operations and Management course is scheduled for January 22-24, 2020. Please see the flyer for additional details.
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.
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.
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
1. Unvaccinated students will be banned from Seattle public schools after new year
Seattle Public Schools is requiring proof of vaccinations, without which students will not be allowed to return for the new year. The school district stated that student records must “reflect updated immunization status” by Jan. 8. Those students whose records do not show proof of vaccinations will not be allowed to attend school, and the missed days will be recorded as unexcused absences. They can return once their vaccination record is complete. There are no exceptions for students receiving special education services. Seattle Public Schools cited Washington state law, which requires students to have immunization records that are complete or in the process of being completed to be able to attend school. Students can attend school if they have a signed certificate of exemption, but personal and philosophical exemptions from vaccines are not allowed. The district is notifying families of students whose records do not reflect up-to-date vaccinations or have missing information via email, postal mail and letters sent home from the school. The district also set up free immunization clinics for students at three schools on Dec. 27, Dec. 30 and Jan. 3. The decision comes in the midst one of the worst years for measles outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world. The CDC reported 1,276 individual cases of measles confirmed in 31 states through Dec. 5. Washington experienced two outbreaks of measles this year totaling 87 cases.
Source: Anuja Vaidya of Becker’s Hospital Review
2. With reported flu cases in Virginia ticking up, a less common type of the virus is being discovered more often this season
Of the more than 1,800 cases confirmed by lab reports since the start of the 2019-2020 flu season, 75% have been identified as type B, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The frequency of type B influenza in Virginia mirrors what’s being seen across the country. It has been found in 68% of all lab-tested cases reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials said type B is generally more common in children, though not exactly more severe. It also means that people over 65 who are usually susceptible to the flu might not catch it this year. Scott Pauley, a spokesman for the CDC, said it’s the first time since the 1992-1993 flu season that influenza B has been identified more often than influenza A nationally.
Source: C. Suarez Rojas of Richmond Times-Dispatch
3. Clarification: 1135 waivers, temporary suspension of 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 HCPro
4. FedEx, UPS tack $24 fee on packages 50 pounds or more
UPS Inc. and FedEx will impose a $24 handling surcharge on packages that weigh more than 50 pounds. The fee was previously reserved for parcels of 70 pounds or more, according to The Wall Street Journal. Medical devices are among products weighing between 50 and 70 pounds, as well as other consumer items like pet food, lounge chairs, exercise equipment and home theater systems. UPS’ new weight regulation took effect Dec. 29; FedEx’s will begin Jan. 6. The carriers said they lowered the weight threshold to ensure proper compensation for the growing number of large and heavy packages that move through their shipping networks.
Source: Molly Gamble of Becker’s Hospital Review