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Partners in Preparedness

partners in preparedness

Each month, we feature a partner who has done outstanding work to prepare their organization, staff, services, and facilities for emergencies.

Featured Partner of the Month: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
With 25 clinical facilities throughout New York and New Jersey and more than 13,000 employees, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is the world's oldest and largest private cancer center. MSK's leadership recognizes that a well-prepared hospital is vital to the health of a community, and that a disaster-ready and resilient workforce is the foundation on which to achieve continuity of clinical operations. As a Partner in Preparedness, MSK undertakes a variety of preparedness activities to enhance its readiness. The success of its emergency preparedness program is a direct result of the multidisciplinary participation of departments who are actively involved in the planning process, as well as the support of MSK leadership.

MSK promotes a culture of preparedness and resiliency institution-wide by first introducing safety and emergency information at new employee orientation. Preparedness information for staff and patients is provided through a number of different channels, including the organization’s internal website.

MSK also uses the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) and has a dedicated HICS team at each of its facilities. All sites have a dedicated emergency information line for staff, as well as access to a mass notification system. Personnel at all facilities are provided with a site-specific emergency information lanyard card.

To ensure staffing resiliency, MSK offers a "Bed-in-a-Box" program that provides immediate accommodations for up to 450 staff members and includes a self-inflating mattress, linens, blanket, and two days’ worth of toiletries. Additionally, MSK has created an online tool for physicians and other clinical staff members to identify their work availability during emergencies; this allows leadership to effectively deploy staff as dictated by the needs of the emergency. Departments can use the same tool to request staffing assistance. Staffing resiliency is also supported by MSK’s human resources department’s staff redeployment project, which cross-trained 450 MSK nonclinical staff members to perform clinical support duties. And in the event of an information systems outage, manual downtimes procedures can be implemented to support these functions.

MSK also employs data visualization tools to assess the impact that a disaster would have on the staff and patient population. These tools were used during the recent Long Island Railroad strike threat to determine impact to staff and departments and to develop a transportation contingency plan. After a natural disaster (such as a hurricane), this tool can be used to determine if a patient who is being discharged resides in a flood zone or an area without power. MSK also has installed an evacuation device on each hospital bed that reduces the time needed to evacuate nonambulatory patients.

Our Partners
View the full list of this year's Partners in Preparedness.

Featured Partners Archive
Learn more about previously featured Partners in Preparedness:

Become a Featured Partner
Share your story. Contact the program via the contact form here, and your organization could be the next featured Partner in Preparedness.

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