On a typical day, hospitals can be chaotic.
But when a natural disaster hits, occupancy rates — and stress levels of health care workers — can be pushed to the limit. Both represent significant barriers to optimal care.
The aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Harvey underscore the need for health care facilities to plan for the worst.
“If you’re not prepared for sudden surges in demand for acute and emergency care, then you will compromise not only the incoming disaster patients but also existing emergency department and hospitalized patients,” says Mahshid Abir, M.D., M.Sc., an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan and director of the Acute Care Research Unit at the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation .
Author(s): Kevin Joy, Content Editor for Michigan Health Lab