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Emergency Preparedness

Pennsylvania hospitals are essential in public health and medical emergency response. They have plans in place to deal with everyday emergencies and unexpected disasters, and work to improve their response capabilities by reviewing and testing their plans, holding disaster drills, and working with first responders.

HAP’s emergency preparedness team serves as a national model for best practices in health care coordination emergent and disaster events.

The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) Emergency Preparedness staff support Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health care facilities as well as regional health care coalitions’ preparedness activities as they train, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

When a disaster impacts a state, region, or community, the health care system plays a crucial first responder role. From large hospitals to smaller community health centers, these entities work with emergency professionals, law enforcement, and state and federal agencies to address immediate needs and to deal with longer term recovery. Disasters may include, but are not limited to:

  • Natural disasters such as floods, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes
  • Mass casualty incidents include multiple vehicle accidents, train accidents, active shooter incidents
  • Environmental accidents such as chemical fires and spills
  • Acts of domestic and foreign terrorism
  • Public health threats such as the Ebola outbreak and flu pandemics

Often, health care and emergency personnel, as well as volunteers, are responding to life-threatening situations. They drill and train to make immediate situational assessments and practice critical decision-making to protect the public.

HAP and DOH Partner to Improve Emergency Response in Pennsylvania

A partnership between The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) began during 2012.

The coalition is a PADOH-initiated partnership with HAP to refine, enhance, and test individual health care facility preparedness activities and response plans. The partnership is a regional approach to health care preparedness and works with the existing nine regional task force health and medical structures.

Subscribe to Keystone Health Preparedness Digest

Keystone Health Preparedness Digest is a compilation of current news articles and related information pertaining to public health threats, both in the United States and worldwide. It is published twice a month by HAPevolve, a subsidiary of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. Subscribe below.


HAP News

January 10, 2020

Flu Season Enters Peak, Still Time to Get Vaccinated

As flu season intensifies across the commonwealth, state officials encouraged all Pennsylvanians to get their flu shot. Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine this week announced that as of December 28, 2019, more than 17,000 confirmed cases of the flu and nine flu-related deaths.