Jurisdictions of all sizes, from tribal to national governments and global institutions, are concerned about saving life, protecting property, preserving the economic base of the community and the environment. When disaster strikes, those who have emergency plans and practice them routinely will be in a better position to help the community. The burden is magnified when it comes to healthcare facilities that protect lives and to staff who take care of them due to the critical dependency of the hospital community on its technology while increased demand placed on their medical services during disasters. The three stages; that of pre-disaster, during disaster, and the disaster recovery stage must include specific strategies for protecting systems and devices, especially those that are critical to life and those that present unique hazards like radiation-emitting devices and radioactive materials. Healthcare professionals need plans, management tools, and training to help them deal with disasters in the most effective and safe way possible. The understanding of systems (including IT networks) and devices vulnerability is critical, especially in the case where radiation mitigation and contamination containment are necessary. Backup support prioritization and strengthening the resilience of the technology prior to and during disasters are all crucial for the hospital mission. The coordinated role of clinical engineers and medical physicists is highly important.
This tutorial provides its audience with knowledge on the vulnerabilities faced by hospitals, as well as the ways to mitigate the risk of disruption of hospital operations. Information will be presented by experts from the clinical engineering, systems, and medical physics communities and will offer solutions that can improve the safety of hospitals in disaster events. The proposed plan for the development and establishment of an international center for information and training of health technology managers on disaster preparedness will be discussed with the audience.