Healthcare System Disaster Preparedness, Part 1: Readiness Planning

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Recent world events have raised the scope and intensity of disaster planning and readiness activities, including assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. In all efforts, the chief nurse executive is critical to the clinical operations and implementation of changes across a system, whether that system is a single hospital or a multiple site integrated healthcare system. In this article (part 1 of a 2-part series), the authors discuss the use of the nursing process as a framework to prepare for an all-hazards threat to disaster and mass casualty possibilities. They share one region's attempt to better integrate communication efforts across all care providers, including public health, county fire and rescue, state agencies, and hospital and service providers. Part 2 (October 2002) will discuss the role competencies of the nurse executive in disaster preparation.