In today's unpredictable world, hospitals play a critical role in responding to public health emergencies, be it natural disasters, disease outbreaks, or terrorist attacks. Below are five reasons why hospitals must prioritize emergency preparedness to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients and healthcare professionals.

Global Geopolitical Instability

Recent years saw tensions rise around the world, as even Europe, which has seen many decades of peace and prosperity, is now facing armed conflict. Increased tensions often result in escalating violence, civil unrest, and humanitarian crises. Conflicts can develop quickly and cause an influx of patients, staffing shortages, and even direct physical threats. Without the proper preparation, many medical facilities will be swiftly overwhelmed and unable to continue providing care.

Climate Change

With rising global temperatures, natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and tornadoes have become more common and strike with little warning, potentially causing significant damage to infrastructure and injuries. Hospitals that do not prepare their infrastructure accordingly and plan for the increased demand for medical services that occur during and after these disasters will not be able to maintain continuity of care or ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Epidemic Outbreaks

With human settlements encroaching on more and more natural habitats and antibiotics gradually losing their effectiveness, outbreaks of new, highly infectious diseases are only expected to increase. Due to our modern transportation infrastructure, the rapid spread of these diseases across borders is likely to result in a rise in the incidence of global pandemics such as COVID-19. Hospitals play a critical role in containing and managing epidemic outbreaks and must improve their preparedness and ability to respond effectively to emerging pathogens.

Preserving the Mental Wellbeing of Medical Professionals

Medical staff members often experience high levels of stress, especially during emergency situations in which they are burdened with heavy responsibilities and impossible workloads. The demanding nature of this important work can take a toll on their mental and emotional wellbeing, negatively impacting their performance, sometimes to the point of not being able to function. It can even cause many to leave the healthcare field altogether. However, hospitals that invest in emergency preparedness can mitigate these effects and their consequences by implementing appropriate training and promoting a culture of resilience and self-care.

Health Emergencies Preparedness at Sheba

More and more hospitals worldwide are realizing that preparing for public health emergencies is not a luxury, but a necessity. In Israel, public health emergencies have, unfortunately, been all too common. Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s premier medical organization, has acquired unique experience managing and preparing for public health emergencies.

Aiming to support colleagues worldwide in their emergency preparedness efforts, Sheba offers consultancy services to hospitals seeking to enhance their readiness by addressing critical areas such as resource management, response protocols, and communication – starting with an onsite gap analysis and concluding with the design and implementation of a tailored action plan.

Contact Sheba to learn more about our services:

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