2013 Disaster Planning Conference Recap

More than 900 people, including hospital staff and local and state officials, united in Sacramento for the 2013 Disaster Planning for California Hospitals conference, the largest gathering of hospital responders in the state. 

Conference highlights included keynote Dr. Paul D. Biddinger, medical director for emergency preparedness at Massachusetts General Hospital, who explained how Boston hospitals used lessons from previous exercises and disasters to coordinate their response to the Boston Marathon bombings. H. Dwight Douglas, general counsel for Freeman Health System in Joplin, Missouri, and Leslie D. Hirsch, president and CEO for Saint Clare’s Health System in New Jersey, described the complex challenges hospital leadership and legal counsel may encounter when faced with a disaster, offering practical guidance for how these challenges may be overcome for a successful recovery.

The conference concluded with a panel from San Mateo County EMS Agency and San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, who detailed their response to the Asiana plane crash in July, from first responder triage and treatment to patient care at area hospitals. Presenters shared how they overcame many challenges, including unusual injuries, intensive media coverage, and language and cultural issues.

New for the 2013 conference was an interactive app, which allowed attendees to access conference materials from mobile devices, share photos and post instant feedback.