RealNews

U.S. hospitals can't handle terror or disaster, report says

The group that accredits most American hospitals is calling for stepped-up efforts to prepare for a terrorist attack or other public emergency, saying that many health care organizations are already overburdened and don’t have the funds to adequately respond. In a report issued today, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations urges federal and state governments, health care institutions and other emergency services providers to implement community-based preparedness programs – before disaster strikes. “At the time there is some community disaster, that’s not the time for leaders in the community and health care and police and fire to start exchanging business cards. It’s got to be done long before,” said Joe Cappiello, the group’s vice president for accreditation field operations. “You can’t prepare for everything, but you’ve got to be able to prepare for those things that are real,” he said. “And you have to be able to anticipate what the health care system might be called on to respond to.” The goal, Cappiello said, is to create a “scalable community model” that hospitals can tailor to meet the needs of their respective populations – whether they’re in Manhattan or Dubuque. Full Story

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