|Title:||Communication protocols for major incidents in WA Health|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0513/14|
|Date of issue:||Wednesday, 19 March 2014|
|Description:||The Operational Directive describes communication protocols for major incidents impacting WA Health including incident activation, broadcast notification and ongoing incident communication.|
|Applicable to:||Public hospital and health services in Western Australia|
|Framework:||Public Health Policy Framework|
|Period of effect:||from 10 December 2013 to 10 December 2018|
|Authorised by:||Professor Bryant Stokes, Acting Director General, Department of Health WA, 12-Dec-2013|
|Print version:||View print version|
Communication protocols for major incidents in WA Health
In the event of a major incident in Western Australia (WA), rapid notification and efficient communication systems within the Department of Health (WA Health) are vital to a successful and timely incident response.
This Operational Directive (OD) outlines the broadcast notification procedure used by the State Health Incident Coordination Centre (SHICC) for large scale incidents requiring a collaborative response from multiple health service sites.
Initial incident activation
Initial notification of incident
In the event of an external emergency or disaster WA Health should be notified via the On Call Duty Officer (OCDO) on (08) 9328 0553.
Initial broadcast notification
Health services will be notified of an incident if an impact on, or a need for, its services is anticipated or identified. Notification of an incident is sent simultaneously to all relevant contacts provided by the health services via voice message, email and short messaging service (SMS).
The initial broadcast notification includes:
Further incident details and actions required by health services will be provided via teleconferences and/or WebEOCģ.
This broadcast strategy mitigates the risk of communication failure, loss or delay.
Health services shall have internal protocols to ensure the initial broadcast notification does not cause confusion.
Initial broadcast notification details
Health services should provide:
1. A principal telephone number
Health services are required to have a principal telephone number that can be utilised for urgent notification of a major incident or disaster.
†The principal telephone number shall:
The principal telephone number is ideally the main extension of the hospitalís EOC, which is diverted to the hospital switchboard when the EOC is not in operation. Upon activation of the EOC, the diversion can be cancelled enabling direct communication between the SHICC and the hospital EOC. †Health services are encouraged to consider automated re-diversion to mitigate the risk of human error.
2. A principal email address
Health services are required to have a principal email address that can be utilised by the SHICC for receiving important situation reports, advisories and other relevant information.
The principal email address:
3. A telephone number, preferably a mobile to facilitate SMS
Health services shall have a telephone number, preferably a mobile to facilitate SMS, that is monitored at all times by an appropriate stakeholder e.g. a Hospital Health Coordinator (HHC) (however titled), Operations Manager, After-Hours Manager, or Regional Health Disaster Coordinator (RHDC).
4. Additional contact details
Health services may provide additional contact details of identified relevant stakeholders (ideally no more than ten contacts).
Relevant health service stakeholders may include, but are not limited to:
Rapid activation of hospital response teams in metropolitan areas (not applicable to WA Country Health Service regions)
If a Hospital Response Team (HRT) is required for rapid deployment, the rostered HRT will be contacted by the SHICC via the principal telephone number. This call may precede, but will not replace, the initial broadcast notification.
Ongoing incident communication
Ongoing communication regarding the incident should be performed in WebEOC. Where ongoing telephone communication is required, calls from the SHICC will be placed directly to the principal telephone number.
Notification of the hospital closest to the incident site
If an incident occurs near a hospital, SHICC will contact the hospital/region directly so that incident details can be relayed immediately. †This call may precede, but not replace the initial broadcast notification.
Maintenance and non-urgent contacts details
Maintenance of initial notification details
Health services are required to update any changes to initial notification details immediately.
DPMU will be responsible for revising and testing initial notification details and broadcast systems on a regular basis.
WA Country Health Service regions
In addition to the initial notification details requested, WA Country Health Service regions are required to notify DPMU of changes to RHDC rosters, contact details and leave relief arrangements.
Non-urgent contact numbers
Health services are to provide DPMU with an up-to-date contact number for non-urgent notifications. Ideally this number will be staffed by an Operations Manager/After Hours Manager who is able to escalate or act upon information reported, as appropriate.
Monitoring and review
The Senior Policy Officer, DPMU, is responsible for reviewing this directive on an annual basis.
Professor Bryant Stokes
This circular last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 10:52am