More than two years into dealing with a pandemic, healthcare workers are facing a new public health concern. The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency in July, and just as they have been with COVID-19, healthcare facilities are at the frontlines.
While the hospitalization and fatality rates for monkeypox are much lower than those of COVID-19, facilities are focusing on implementing evaluation, testing and vaccine distribution procedures to help keep their communities safe. The outbreak reminds us once again that new waves and diseases are rarely predictable, and healthcare facilities should be prepared with sufficient and sustainable protocols and emergency preparedness plans.
Creating a plan and remaining compliant
Meeting and exceeding compliance standards helps your facility have steps in place to respond to public health emergencies. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency preparedness plans served their purpose by helping facilities maintain safe and effective operations during uncertain times. Due to adequate preparation, Medxcel-supported facilities had the plans, inventories and risk assessments they needed to handle the crisis.
A facility’s emergency management (EM) team helps to establish infection control and prevention guidelines, in addition to developing plans and coordinating responses to emergencies like pandemics. In order to be efficient, this emergency management must be integrated into daily operations. This includes creating backup plans, training associates regularly and recognizing and mitigating risks. Having an effective emergency management plan in place allows your facility to concentrate attention and resources on patient needs during a crisis.
Even when facilities have solid plans in place and maintain compliance, there will likely be unexpected demands in emergency situations. When faced with unique challenges, healthcare leaders may need to get creative to solve problems as they arise. In the past two years, facilities have implemented new technologies and found ways to continue treating patients while ensuring safety. For example, in order to prevent unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 at the onset of the pandemic, Medxcel’s HVAC teams set up cameras in front of the HVAC systems to monitor and assess remotely.
But creativity does not only stem from necessity. A solid emergency management plan relies on pre-existing innovative solutions to support your facility through a crisis. Our innovative supply chain strategy ensured we were well-equipped with PPE in 2020 because we partnered with vendors outside of the healthcare market. Implementing new strategies like this will help operations continue to run smoothly during the next emergency.
During any public health emergency, communities rely on their healthcare facilities for support. Instead of focusing only on navigating today’s challenges, facilities must anticipate potential future crises and implement plans and standards to maintain readiness.
The solutions healthcare workers have created throughout the COVID-19 pandemic will help us as we navigate the monkeypox outbreak and future emergencies. As we look ahead, we can’t know what challenges we will face next, but we do know that healthcare facilities must be prepared for anything. We are grateful for all of our Medxcel associates who are dedicated to applying protocols day in and day out to maintain readiness and provide the best possible care for patients in every situation.
Want to learn more about implementing infectious disease protocols and emergency preparedness plans in your facility? Request a consultation or contact us at email@example.com or 855-633-9235.