Emergency Pandemic Plan
Orleans Community Health adopts this plan to prepare for and respond to a threat of all pandemic including Covid-19 that would have the ability to causes serious widespread illness. Orleans Community Health appoints the Executive Leadership Team for the Hospital and SNF Leadership Team as the pandemic repose coordinators.
The purpose of this plan is to address the following issues related to pandemics:
- Creating a culture of infection control in the workplace that is reinforced during the pandemic, to include, if possible, options for working offsite while ill, systems to reduce infection transmission, and worker education.
- Establishing contingency plans to maintain the delivery of services during times of significant and sustained worker absenteeism.
- Where possible, establishing mechanisms to allow workers to provide services from home if public health officials advise against non-essential travel outside the home.
- Establishing partnerships with other members of the financial community to provide mutual support and maintenance of essential services during a pandemic.
- Secure and preserve necessary resources such as PPE during the pandemic.
The Coordinators also will activate Incident Command if a pandemic is declared. Incident Command under the Pandemic Response team will do the following duties:
- Monitor issues and information related to pandemics to keep our plan up to date.
- Make changes to the plan as circumstances warrant.
- Conduct employee training.
- Communicate with public health agencies, emergency responders, and others regarding our plan, and understand their capabilities should an outbreak occur.
- Attend external training/seminars about pandemic influenza outbreaks in order to remain current about the pandemic threat in our community.
- Implement portions of the plan not already in place should it become necessary.
Pandemic Incident Command members will have the following responsibilities:
- Identify and communicate which employees, vendors, suppliers, and systems are essential to maintaining operations at their locations.
- Identify and communicate the names of possible ancillary employees who could perform certain job duties in the case of a pandemic (e.g. consultants, temporary work services, retired employees).
- Develop and communicate to the emergency communications plan for their departments/locations, including identification of key personnel, vendors, and customers based on the Organization’s current emergency communications plan.
- Activate the organization’s continued operations plan within each department with the least possible number of staff.
- Ensure that all employees in their departments are adequately trained on emergency procedures in the case of a pandemic and in the prevention of illness.
- Assist the implementation of this plan, if necessary, in all locations.
The Incident Command team will maintain a list of contacts in the health profession to provide consultation and advice regarding this plan and its implementation.
The Incident Command team will, at least annually, provide information to all employees regarding those practices that are recommended by public health officials that will reduce the spread of the infection. The Incident Command team will also develop a list of recommended infection control supplies (hand soaps, tissues, and so on) and ensure that each department has a sufficient supply of them.
The Incident Command team will maintain a list of duties and positions for which individual employees are cross-trained within the Hospital. Should staffing levels drop due to an outbreak, supervisors can use this list to fill in positions where needed.
The Incident Command team will maintain a list of duties that employees can perform from home, as well as any equipment (such as computers) that may be necessary to perform those duties. Supervisors can then draw on this list to have those duties performed by employees from home should it become necessary.
The Incident Command team and the Information Technology Director will ensure that the agency has sufficient IT infrastructures to support employee telecommuting and remote access to agency services..
The Coordinator and the Human Resource Director will establish the following policies and procedures:
- Flexible work hours, including staggered work hours and telecommuting
- Restricting employee travel to affected areas
- Guidance for employees returning to the area from affected areas
- Counseling services for all employees and their families, particularly those affected by illness
- Special procedures/accommodations for employees and customers with special needs or disabilities
The Incident Command team will activate the communications plan to keep employees informed of developments as they occur, including those employees who remain at home. This could include plans to obtain home e-mail addresses, telephone numbers for employees to call to receive recorded messages, pages on the website for employees, and so on. Questions about such issues as whether to report for work and Department special hours of operations during the outbreak.
The Incident Command team will conduct an annual drill Hospital-wide to test the effectiveness of the plan.
Should a Pandemic Occur
Should a pandemic occur, the Incident Command team, after consultation with knowledgeable health officials, implement the following steps, as deemed necessary:
- Encourage patients and potential patients to use remote services if possible. The staffing of these services is to be increased as necessary to ensure that individuals using them receive prompt service and response so they will continue to use them.
- Employees with job duties that can be accomplished by telecommuting will be encouraged to work from home unless they have been cross-trained to work in the place of an employee who is ill.
- The emergency sick leave policy shall be implemented. Supervisors will be instructed to send and keep employees home if they exhibit symptoms of the illness, working from home if practical.
- Team members will contact their key vendors to determine the impact of the outbreak on their operations and its effects on our ability to perform our daily functions, and they will communicate the results to Incident Command. The Coordinator will see to it that we obtain extra quantities of any necessary supplies that may be threatened due to the outbreak.
- Incident Command, with the assistance of team members, will monitor staffing levels at all departments and assist supervisors in finding ways to maintain critical operations in light of any staffing shortage. Should the closing of any departments be a consideration due to inadequate staffing availability, the Incident command will first contact the Health Department to obtain their advice and consent prior to any closing. Should a department be closed, notices shall be posted prominently at the location informing patients of the situation and telling them where and how they can contact us. Telephone and other lines of communication must be routed to a department where they will be staffed by employees so customers’ attempts to reach us do not go unanswered.
- The Incident command is to ensure that the public is kept informed of any changes that affect services with us. This information is to be included on the home page of our website, in the lobbies of our locations, and in other media as appropriate.
- The Coordinator is to implement the employee contact plan to ensure that all employees are kept informed of developments as they occur, including employees who remain at home.
Testing Our Plan
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator to conduct an annual assessment of our Pandemic Emergency Plan and submit its findings to the board with the Environment of Care Committee.