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CEOs SAY BIOTERRORISM PLANS ARE IN PLACE
March 13, 2003Since September 11, 2001, hospitals have faced
new challenges protecting and caring for their communities, especially
the threat of bioterrorism. According to a new survey conducted by the
American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), 84 percent of hospital
CEOs agree that since 9/11, their hospitals have worked more closely with
public agencies (e.g. fire, police, and public health departments). Further,
95 percent of the respondents said their hospitals already have, or within
six months will have, a bioterrorism disaster plan in place, developed
in coordination with local emergency or health agencies.
times of crisis and need, healthcare executives ensure that hospitals
and other healthcare organizations serve as 'safety nets' in their communities
by providing emergency and ongoing care, as well as accurate, timely information
about public health threats," said Thomas C. Dolan, Ph.D., FACHE,
CAE, president and chief executive officer of ACHE.
asked more than 700 hospital CEOs throughout the country to report on
the status of programs related to bioterrorism preparedness. Following
is a summary of the results (n=295):
- 85 percent
of the respondents reported that they already are working with other
hospitals or hospital associations to learn about resources available
for a response to bioterrorism. Of the hospitals not currently communicating
with other organizations, 73 percent are planning to establish such
relationships within the next six months.
- 60 percent
of the respondents confirmed that their hospitals have decontamination
units in place. Of the hospitals without decontamination units, 70 percent
plan to purchase them within the next year.
- The survey
also asked CEOs to rate their hospitals' current readiness in comparison
to before 9/11. As a result of initiatives taken since 9/11, 69 percent
of the CEOs believe their hospitals have become safer places.
always have adhered to the high security measures for both the safety
of patients and employees," said Daniel J. Snyder, FACHE, chief executive
officer of LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. "But today, disaster preparedness
encompasses more and more, challenging CEOs to consider and coordinate
response plans for an extensive list of situations."
serves as chief operating officer for Intermountain Health Care's (IHC)
Urban Central Region and CEO of IHC's flagship medical center. For the
2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Snyder's facilities were responsible
for the routine and crisis medical operations.
conducts surveys of its CEO affiliates, recently completing an assessment
of the top issues hospitals face.
is the responsibility of healthcare executives to share their learnings
with others in the industry," said Dolan. "ACHE provides a forum
to communicate knowledge and developments, making certain all providers
have access to the latest information and that all patients receive the
best possible care."
Ann C. Bartling, CHE, (312) 424-9420, email@example.com