Regional Events: Trauma Service Area E
Regionwide Patient Surge
Due to a particularly bad flu season, many regional Emergency Departments are being flooded with patients that exceed their capacity. As facilities use EMResource to report their capacity issues, NCTTRAC would like to remind everyone about the difference between the “Advisory” status and the “Closed” status. The following is pulled directly from the current Regional Trauma System Plan, p.22-23:
“Facilities may choose from status values of “Open”, “Closed”, or “Advisory”. “Advisory” is used when there is a situation at the facility that affects operations but doesn’t require closure; the specifics are indicated in the other columns as appropriate or in the “Comments” area. ED personnel are required to monitor and update their ED status at least once each day … A facility may post a “Closed” status only if they are suffering from a facility emergency. Examples may include an internal disaster such as a fire, flooding, power outage, water shortage, or structural damage.”
Advisory vs. Closed
- “Advisory” status should be used if you are informing EMS about interruptions to internal services that may impact patient care, including bed availability issues that affect wait times. Proper selection of the “Advisory” status and the addition of specific comments is critical to the efficient operation of the regional emergency healthcare system.
- “Closed” status is to reflect an internal disaster within a facility that shuts down an emergency department to new patients whether EMS or self-presented. “Closed” should not be used to show that a facility has limited bed availability resulting in long wait times for EMS.
IV Fluid Shortage - Trauma Service Area E
Based on the results of the DSHS survey that went out in late December, 71% of facilities in TSA-E are not having their current needs met by their supply orders, and 84% of facilities have implemented conservation strategies to maximize use of existing stock. While many facilities are able to manage these shortages within the corporate environment, it is important to understand that other facilities may not have that same advantage. As facilities experience critical shortages of IV fluids, they may turn to resource sharing between neighboring facilities for assistance. To help facilitate this process, NCTTRAC has developed IV Fluid Availability tools in EMResource.
Reporting on Next 48 Hours: IV Fluid Supply Levels
Facilities can now report their supply levels of Normal Saline, Sterile Water, D5W 1/2 Normal Saline, D5W, and Empty IV Fluid Bags. For each available category, a facility can report that their supply level is “Normal”, “Low”, “Critical Shortage”, or “None”. These statuses should reflect a facility/agency’s supply levels as it relates to supporting their next 48 hours of operation. Affected facilities and agencies in our region can see this information and use it to facilitate resource sharing. These statuses should be updated every 24 hours until the nationwide IV fluid shortage has been resolved.
To see this information:
- Log-in to EMResource.
- Click on the “View” tab.
- Select “IV Fluid Availability”.
To update this information for your facility:
- Follow steps 1-3 listed above.
- Find your facility.
- Click on the field you would like to update. This will open up a screen where the user can select from “Normal”, “Low”, “Critical Shortage”, or “None”.
- Write any relevant information in the “Comment” field.
There is an active event in EMResource titled “Statewide IV Fluid Shortage – Update Supply Levels Every 24 Hours”. This event will send out email notifications to EMResource users reminding them to update their facility’s IV fluid supply levels every 24 hours. These email notifications will go out every morning at 8:00 AM. To edit what notifications you receive, check the attachment on this email titled “EMResource Notification Settings”. This document can also be found in EMResource under “Regional Info”, “Document Library”, “EMResource Reference Material”, “EMResource – Notifications Settings”.
If your facility is experiencing an IV Fluid Critical Shortage
NCTTRAC has built an event template in EMResource for you to notify the region that your facility is experiencing an IV Fluid Critical Shortage. To utilize this system, follow these steps:
- Log-in to EMResource.
- Click on the “Event” tab.
- Click “Event Management”.
- Click “Create New Event”.
- Select “IV Fluid Shortage” from the list.
- Be sure to fill out title and body of the event with information that is specific to your facility. Currently, the message contains generic language such as “YOUR FACILITY NAME” and “CONTACT PHONE”. Be sure to replace this with your facility’s name and contact information.
- Towards the bottom of the screen, it will list out the different facilities and EMS agencies in the region. Click on the box in the top left of this section (directly to the left of “Resource Name”). This will ensure that all agencies and facilities receive a notification about your critical resource shortage.
- Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “Save”.
- If you have any questions about this process, please contact the NCTTRAC Duty Phone at 817-607-7020.
The NCTTRAC Emergency Medical Coordination Center (EMCC) supports regional Healthcare Coalition Partners with coordination and implementation of TSA-E’s plans and solutions for regional disaster preparedness and response. Specific EMCC functions include: Activations & Coordination Center Operations, Communications (routine and emergent), Corrective Action Planning, Crisis Applications Administration, Emergency Medical Task Force 2, EOP Implementation, Surveys & Data Analysis and Training & Exercise.
A regional crisis application capability enables interaction between Healthcare Coalition members, jurisdictional emergency management officials, public health, and the state. The development of robust crisis applications enhances regional communication, centralized data collection, emergency status tools, and notification capability.
The NCTTRAC EMCC provides support for all communications functions within the healthcare coalition in TSA-E. The EMCC conducts monthly communications drills, provides hardware and software support, and promotes the implementation of appropriate system maintenance and upgrades for communication tools across the region.
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