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IOM: Medical Disaster Planning 'Rudimentary at Best'

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 26, 2012

An entire chapter is devoted to engaging the general public in a conversation about how an entire community should plan for a disaster.

Hanfling says that discussion among members of the IOM committee that wrote the report was informed by the tragedy at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans, where generators, which were held in the basement, became flooded, resulting in a loss of power and 45 patient deaths.

Tenet Healthcare, which owned the hospital at the time, agreed last August to a $25 million settlement on behalf of 187 patients in the hospital at the time and many others who took shelter there.

The report is actually phase two of a report requested in 2009 by the Department of Health and Human Services after the onset of H1N1 threatened to be a much more lethal pandemic.

It contains tables of subject areas that it suggests each community should address, such as having a plan to deal with mental health and palliative care needs of a population in crisis.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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