260.076D All Hazards Disaster Planning


All Hazards Disaster Planning. The Texas Medical Association adopted the following recommendations:

(1) Ask our American Medical Association to work with subject matter experts at the national level to produce a provider manual on medical liability and coverage during disasters;

(2) Ask our AMA to work with the American Red Cross to improve plans, protocols, and policies regarding the provision of health care in mass casualty shelters;

(3) Request our AMA to develop templates for private practice/office continuity plans in CD-Rom or web-based format with backups to be stored at the state medical association offices;

(4) Work closely with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in statewide disaster planning efforts and advocate for stronger roles for county medical societies in local disaster planning efforts, drills, and other activities;

(5) Establish a liaison to both the Commissioner of Health and the state's emergency coordinator to explore medical needs during terrorism and natural disasters;

(6) Work closely with DSHS to establish state-level communications through the Health Alert Network (HAN) and assist local health departments or other appropriate agencies in expanding the mechanism for informing physicians of essential information on a newly recognized outbreaks;

(7) Work the DSHS to improve physician reporting and consultation systems at the state and local levels;

(8) Work with DSHS to establish standards for local public health departments to ensure that reporting physicians have immediate or rapid access to a public health authority who can provide additional guidance on confirmation and treatment of patients, especially during natural and biological disasters;

(9) Work closely with DSHS, in the event of a pandemic or other infectious disease disaster, to ensure that plans minimize the negative impact on the health care community;

(10) Maintain a database of volunteer physicians, coordinating with state ESAR-VHP efforts, and including tracking of member participation in other disaster response organizations (e.g., local health facility response, Texas Medical Rangers, Medical Reserve Corps, DMATs, Texas National Guard);

(11) Work with DSHS to define when it will be appropriate to contact area physicians and ensure that potential volunteers understand the commitment they are making, including information on liability, travel expenses, job protection, and personal and family safety;

(12) Examine state laws governing practice and liability under these various disaster declarations and advocate for any needed legislative changes to address these issues;

(13) Work with DSHS to identify specific needs and to deploy physicians and special services to assist with the medical needs of shelter evacuees during a disaster;

(14) Recruit physicians in advance of a disaster with particular emphasis on assuring sufficient pediatric and other specialists, including mental health counselors with special efforts to address the specific needs of patients with mental illness, Alzheimers, infectious diseases, long-term care residents, and pregnant women;

(15) Encourage local communities to identify, prior to an event, a designated infection control practitioner to provide basic infection control guidance to prevent exposure to or transmission of infectious diseases in temporary community evacuation centers;

(16) Educate its members on the essential aspects of terrorism and disaster medicine through CME programs at state society meetings and by articles in state society journals and newsletters with special focus given to training on Incident Command Structure, Basic and Advanced Disaster Life Support, and triage for health care providers;

(17) Ensure that physicians understand the circumstances in which quarantine is appropriate and utilized and how to carry out complementary, previously determined roles in their practices regarding surveillance, health care, and public information;

(18) Promote the Texas Medical Rangers and the Medical Reserve Corp to physician members;

(19) Encourage medical educators at all levels to participate in training physicians in the essentials of disaster and terrorism medicine relevant to their practice and specialty;

(20) Encourage our county medical societies to appoint a staff member or member physician to coordinate the society's participation in disaster preparedness and to participate in community disaster drills that test these plans;

(21) Encourage our county medical societies to maintain an ongoing relationship with their local or regional public health departments and to consider appointing the local or regional public health director to the board of the county medical society as a consultant;

(22) Encourage our county medical societies to work with the local health department to compile and maintain a contact list of physicians (both member and nonmember) in the community and to ensure that physician-friendly reporting mechanisms are in place, and that a two-way flow of information exists to provide incentives for physician collaboration;

(23) Encourage our county medical societies to provide a venue for physician education, work with sponsors of local CME efforts, and identify members who are particularly interested and may become peer leaders and educators;

(24) Encourage our county medical societies to participate in practice drills and exercises that involve local health departments and local emergency response units;

(25) Encourage physicians and their staff organizations to advocate for these disaster planning measures in their health care facilities;

(26) Encourage individual physicians to have a strategic plan for everything from evacuating their office building, protecting employees during a communicable disease outbreak, maintaining continuity of their practice and maintaining communication with their families, and provide templates and guidelines for these types of plans to physicians; and

(27) That the Board of Trustees create an ad hoc committee on disaster preparedness and response to provide guidance to the association on how to implement policy and establish guidelines for a statewide medical disaster system that integrates with other emergency response providers in Texas (Amended CPH Rep. 1-A-06; deleted CSPH Rep. 1-A-17).

Last Updated On

June 05, 2017