8 key steps to take to prepare for a natural disaster
More than ever, healthcare IT executives must be prepared for interruptions in service that take electronic health records and other information systems offline. But sometimes, natural disasters pose threats that complicate even basic healthcare delivery, and IT interruptions can exacerbate both care delivery and overall recovery of operations. Hospitals must have plans for catastrophic failures, such as the 2011 tornado that destroyed Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Mo. Here, the organization shares its experiences in recovering IT and basic operations.
Natural disaster devastates Mercy
Mercy Hospital experienced one of the ultimate disasters on May 22, 2011, when the facility was incapacitated by an EF5 tornado. The facility took a direct hit—its roof was pulled off, windows and walls were blown out causing significant internal damage to the structure of the building, and on-site emergency generators were destroyed. A complete loss of communication immediately disrupted patient care.