June 12—In response to Hurricane Sandy and growing concerns that other severe weather events could have a similar impact on New York and the city’s healthcare system, the city created a comprehensive report that suggests action steps for mitigating the effect of a large-scale weather event on the area’s healthcare organizations.

The report offers several recommendations that hospitals and other healthcare providers should pursue to ensure NYC’s complex healthcare system is able to remain functional and continue to provide care in the aftermath of a disaster. A few strategies covered in the report include the following:

  • Improving the design and construction of new hospitals, nursing homes, and adult care facilities in the known floodplain to ensure a higher level of protection and redundant clinical systems
  • Retrofitting existing hospitals, nursing homes, and adult care facilities in the known flood plain to ensure they meet stricter codes that mitigate risk 
  • Encouraging telecommunications resiliency to facilitate patient-provider communication in the aftermath of a disaster
  • Developing electronic health record-keeping capabilities to avoid the loss or damage of patient information during extreme weather events

Publication Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013