Emergency preparedness lessons from COVID-19

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As published by DOTmed, September 28 2020.


Most healthcare facilities have emergency plans in place for crises they themselves or others have experienced. Examples of these events can range from natural disasters to a security breach. But, when COVID-19 began to sweep the globe, many health systems did not have plans in place for defining roles or adjusting supply chains to meet such an unprecedented situation. Many in the scientific community cautioned that a pandemic of this nature was possible (if not likely) in our lifetime, why were we not better prepared?

This pandemic taught us that there is no “one size fits all” EM plan – each needs to be tailored to the hospital’s specific needs and aligned with evolving operations and priorities."

John Davanzo

Consulting Manager, Philips

We’ve learned the hard way that pandemics are not an “if,” but a “when.” No matter where a health system is in managing COVID-19, it is not too soon to examine what policies, procedures, care delivery models, and communication tactics could have been improved during the various stages of the pandemic so far. While many are yearning for a return to “normalcy,” the battle against the virus wages on, and its impact on patient care, operations and planning will linger for some time to come. We have an opportunity to reflect and strategically plan for the ebb and flow of this virus and to prepare for future pandemics while memories are fresh.


Read the full article by DOTmed at

About the author

Beth Fuller


Consulting Manager

John brings expertise in hospital operations, workflow, and process redesign. He is a regular regional and national presenter on healthcare topics including process and resource efficiency as well as use of simulation in healthcare. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. His clinical expertise includes emergency care, pre-hospital care, and pediatric and adult ICU. 

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