Evacuating a hospital in the middle of a wildfire

February 12, 2018

An ASPR interview with Kaiser Permanente staff examines the evacuation of Kaiser Hospital Santa Rosa in the middle of the California wildfires. 

Joshua Weil, Assistant Physician-in-Chief, Hospital Operations of Kaiser Hospital Santa Rosa; Mitch Saruwatari, Director of Emergency Management, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc.; and Skip Skivington, Vice President of Healthcare Continuity Management, Kaiser Permanente, discussed the healthcare provider's disaster response in an article on the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Newsletter.

Evacuating healthcare facilities is a daunting task even when staff have advance notice. Patients have a myriad of needs and must be tracked accurately to ensure continuity of care. Some patient populations require care and equipment so specific that evacuating them can pose special challenges to local, state, and federal programs and resources – as well as threaten their own health, according to the newsletter.

Recent events have demonstrated that while facilities may have solid written evacuation plans, there is still have a good deal to learn. 

Read the article.



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