Hospital Evacuation

Photo provided courtesy of Robert A. Eplett/OES/CA

Hospital plans for full or partial evacuation should incorporate pre-planning and address the incident command and management structure established for its operational area (community). In advance of an event, Hospitals should understand and incorporate local plans and protocols that are in place to support evacuation and should establish Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with other hospitals, as necessary, for transfer and mutual aid during an emergency.(See CHA Hospital Evacuation Plan Checklist)

When potential or actual evacuation is first contemplated, the hospital should alert the local emergency medical services agency (LEMSA), Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and/or Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC) in accordance with the protocols established for emergency notification in the area.

The LEMSA or EOC may assist the hospital with identifying and coordinating placement and transport of patients and other support while the hospital is preparing and staging for evacuation of patients in accordance with local plans and protocols. If the LEMSA or EOC are unable to provide assistance, the hospital is responsible for identification of receiving facilities and securing the consent of those facilities for transfer. The hospital should have established protocols for evacuation, including medications, supplies, equipment, medical records summaries and patient tracking.

Because attending physicians may not be available for all patients involved in an immediate evacuation, it is anticipated that hospital-based physicians (for example, emergency, hospitalists, medical director) will coordinate with the sending and receiving hospitals. Medical record summaries should accompany each patient and the patients attending physician should be notified of the location of the patient.