BACKPAGE: Work With Local Authorities to Create an Emergency Plan


Work With Local Authorities to Create an Emergency Plan

Reach out to external resources and develop a rapport

Union City Surgery Center (UCSC) operates in Union City, a small, rural town in Northwest Tennessee. This location presents a challenge in the event of an emergency, says Marcy Moon, RN, the ASC’s emergency coordinator.

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Identify a team member who will take the lead on your ASC’s outreach to local authorities, Haddix advises. “You need a champion in your center, someone who is passionate about emergency preparedness and will do whatever is necessary to connect with the right representatives. This was me. I was a pest. I knocked on doors. I asked for meetings. I just kept at it.”

Thanks to successful outreach efforts, Moon says UCSC has made improvements to its emergency plan based on advice from the EMA director and experiences involving the local state and fire departments. “The key to successful collaboration is to develop a rapport and be professional, reliable and open to change.”

As you engage in conversations, be prepared to discuss the emergency needs of your center as well as your ASC’s capabilities and resources it can offer to the community, Haddix recommends. “You want to show your ASC has value, that your center may not only need assistance, but it can assist as well.”

If faced with a public health emergency, Southwest Surgical Suites is prepared to transform into a dispensing site to assist with countermeasures and dispensing. “We worked with our local board of health to develop this plan,” Haddix recalls. “Determining how your ASC can benefit the entities that would help you during an emergency will strengthen those relationships.”

Through collaboration with its local authorities, UCSC has agreed to provide personnel and supplies as needed during an emergency. The medical director of the ASC would coordinate these efforts. “Our center is neither licensed for nor does it have broad resources for emergency care,” Moon says, “but we can still play a valuable role in response to a community-wide disaster.”