The view from inside major medical centers
So staffing becomes the No. 1 concern. And as we focus on staffing, we not only have to focus on healthcare professionals like physicians, nurses, respiratory care provides, and other clinicians; we need to think about the infrastructure itself, those people who provide the laundry service, the people that provide the housekeeping, the people that provide the food, the people that provide the facility lights that maintain our critical building systems. These people need to be empowered to feel comfortable and protected and anxious to come to work to assist us anytime there is a critical event that impacts our building or our business.
So at Stanford, we are trying to focus on staffing; we are trying to focus on the concrete, meaning disaster action guides and plans, training, which is essential for each person to know exactly how to respond and what to do, and then reach out into the community and partner with the media, and partner with our local and civic officials, as well as the state and the federal government, to try to lay down an infrastructure that would be effective during that type of crisis. Thank you.
KELLY: Thanks, Vicki, and finally, Dr. Salem.
SALEM: We at National Jewish focused, similar to Dr. Miller after 9/11, on disaster planning, and from a broad range of potential disasters. However, we simply don't, you know, have the surge capacity or multi-hundred ventilators that others have, and we do agree that certainly the largest potential cause of death is respiratory in nature.
You know, I certainly agree that all politics and disaster preparedness starts local. And Houston in the recent Katrina disaster did a marvelous job I wonder in part because, number one, they didn't take the primary hit, but they had a short period of time to get ready; and then secondly, they had done a marvelous job in terms of preparing down to the local level, to the church level, to who is going to call who, who is going to do what, and either drill after drill, or really being prepared in that kinds of state and situation. And I think that that was one reason that they were most successful. Now, can that be emulated at other centers? Are we ready for that in Colorado? I'm not sure because we probably haven't been had the experience or had been hit yet.
One of the things that we have tried to focus on in National Jewish are our strengths, and how can we prepare for this. I do believe that in any disaster, albeit bio-terrorism-related, or pandemic, which seems to be the topic of discussion potentially today, that there will be a surge of people coming to whatever institutions that there are, and therefore, you know, local issues and workers that are able to staff and provide that care in terms of doses and so forth, and treatments are going to be enormously important, and frankly I'm not sure that the institutions around the country are ready for that.