|Title:||Major Incident communication systems and procedures in WA Health|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0302/10|
|Date of issue:||Friday, 15 October 2010|
|Status:||NO LONGER APPLICABLE|
|Description:||This directive standardises, in part, the communication systems and procedures used in an incident involving WA Health to enable (1) full integration with WebEOC, (2) reduction in activation time, and (3) reduction in the risk of communication delays, failure or loss.|
|Applicable to:||Metropolitan tertiary hospitals, metropolitan general public hospitals, regional centre hospitals, Joondalup Health Campus, and Peel Health Campus.|
|Category:||Disaster Preparedness and Management|
|Period of effect:||from 30 October 2010 to 30 October 2015|
|Review date:||30 October 2015|
|Authorised by:||Mr Kim Snowball, Director General, Department of Health, WA, 13-Oct-2010|
|Print version:||View print version|
Major Incident communication systems and procedures in WA Health
Rapid notification of health care sites by the State Health Incident Coordination Centre (SHICC), formerly State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC) and Hospitals Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) at the commencement of an incident, and efficient communication during the incident response, are vital to successful achievement of WA Health incident response objectives.
This directive applies to:
Private sector hospitals, particularly those with Emergency Departments, are encouraged to implement the procedures and systems outlined in this directive.
The broadcast notification procedure described in this directive will be used by the SHICC only for large scale incidents requiring the collaborative response of multiple health service sites. The principal email address supplied by the hospital/region will be used by the Disaster Preparedness and Management Unit (DPMU) for all other incident notifications and situation reports.
Initial notification is distinct from ongoing communication
A distinction is made in this Directive between the communications procedures used for initial notification of an incident, and the communications procedures used for the remainder of the incident.
Hospitals/regions shall provide the following details to the DPMU:
The initial broadcast notification
A hospital/region is notified of an incident, if notification is required and a need for its services is anticipated or identified.
The notification is sent simultaneously to all contact points provided by the hospital/region: the principal phone number, the principal email address and all initial notification numbers. This broadcast strategy is used to mitigate the risk of communication failure, loss or delay. The hospital/region shall develop internal protocols to ensure that the broadcast notification does not cause confusion.
A brief reference to the type of incident is included in the notification. Full incident details and requests for hospital involvement will be made available via WebEOC and teleconferences. Teleconference times and arrangements are listed in WebEOC and emailed to the principal email address. Teleconference lines used by the hospital/region shall be kept to a minimum.
Ongoing communication during the incident response
The majority of communication regarding the incident shall be performed in WebEOC.
Where ongoing telephony is required, calls from the SHICC will be placed directly to the principal number, unless the use of an alternate number is required by the hospital/region.
Staffing the principal phone number
The principal phone number shall be staffed at all times. Persons staffing the principal number shall be trained in how to respond to incident notification calls.
The principal phone number – further detail
The principal phone number shall not be changed once the hospital EOC is activated.
The principal telephone number is ideally the main line of the hospital EOC, diverted to the hospital switchboard when the EOC is not in operation. Upon activation, the diversion is cancelled enabling direct communication between the SHICC and the hospital EOC. Hospitals are encouraged to consider automated re-diversion to mitigate the risk of human error.
The principal email address – further detail
The principal email address shall not be changed once the hospital/region is activated.
The principal email address is ideally a distribution group in the Health Global Address Book. It should contain the email address of the EOC, along with email addresses of all parties who should be alerted in the event of an incident. If a distribution group is used, maintenance is the responsibility of the hospital/region.
Initial notification numbers – further detail
Initial notification numbers may include:
Where an initial notification number is a mobile number, it will receive an SMS in the notification, in addition to the voice call.
For each initial notification number, hospitals/regions shall indicate the time of day the number may be called, using the following definitions:
Initial notification numbers may be revised with the DPMU quarterly.
Rapid activation of Hospital Response Teams(This is not applicable to WACHS regions)
In the event that an incident in the metropolitan area requires rapid deployment of a Hospital Response Team, the SHICC Operations Cell Coordinator will call the rostered tertiary hospital on a direct line to the ED, as provided by the hospital and provide instructions
This call may precede, but will not replace, the broadcast notification of the hospital described in this Directive.
Notification of the Hospital closest to the incident site
In the event the incident is proximal to a specific hospital, the SHICC Operations Cell Coordinator will directly call the hospital/region on the principal number directly so incident details can be relayed immediately.
This call will precede, but will not replace, the broadcast notification of the hospital described in this Directive.
The hospital/region shall ensure that all persons involved in the implementation of this directive receive education and training on the process and their responsibilities.
Quality Management, Quality Improvement
Implementation of the infrastructure and procedures identified in this directive are to be completed by 31 October 2010.
Beginning 1 November 2010, hospitals/regions shall conduct monthly testing of their internal procedures to ensure compliance with this directive and operational readiness.
Beginning 1 November 2010, the DPMU will conduct bi-annual audits of hospital/regional compliance with this directive, including testing of all systems and procedures herein.
Mr Kim Snowball
This circular last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 1:20pm