Carolinas Medical Center is the flagship facility of Carolinas HealthCare System, the largest healthcare system in the Carolinas, and the third largest public health system in the nation. As the areas only Level 1 Trauma Center, we feel it is incumbent upon our hospital to be properly equipped in the areas of disaster and emergency preparedness in order to be better prepared in responding to not only traditional disaster threats, but an even more real potential of terrorist attacks, including the use of chemical, biological, or nuclear agents.
Below are a few areas of focus:
Disaster Response Team
The Hospital Disaster Response Team participates in preparedness activities including mass patient decontamination, evacuation, transportation and alternate care facility mobilization and preparation. Members are required to wear personal protective equipment while caring for patients in the event of a chemical or other hazardous materials incident, and will need to be available to leave their work area in the event of a community-wide disaster to provide care required to save lives and preserve infrastructure.
Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)
A Continuity of Operations Plan provides policies and guidance to ensure the execution of essential functions in the event that Carolinas Medical Center's operations are threatened.
The COOP Plan outlines a comprehensive approach to ensure the continuity of essential services during an incident, such as an influenza pandemic, while ensuring the safety and well-being of employees and patients. Alternate Care Facility (ACF)
A public health emergency, such as a natural or man-made disaster, can strain the capacity of hospitals and other traditional venues for medical services. In such emergencies, it may be necessary to use an Alternate Care Facility to provide care. Carolinas Medical Center has an agreement with Mecklenburg County for use of its weekender annex of the Mecklenburg County Jail, which will act as CMC's Alternate Care Facility if ever needed.
National Disaster Medical System (NDMS)
Carolinas Medical Center works closely with the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to assist and provide support with NDMS drills and when the system is activated.