a number of tabletop exercises based on realistic biological, chemical, and
radiological scenarios. It also has developed and coordinated a series of
full functional drills and exercises that support emergency preparedness
planning at the three YNHHS hospitals.
The center uses these drills and
exercises to measure how well course content is translated into action
during a simulated disaster, and to update the courses as needed to improve
effectiveness. The drills and exercises also are used to increase the practical
skills of the participating individuals and the overall competencies of the
contributing organizations. In addition, the drills and exercises are used to
ensure that the plans and procedures used by multiple regional response
organizations (e.g., public safety, public health, emergency medical ser-
vices, and government agencies) are fully integrated.
Clinical Strategies
The center has contributed to the development of numerous clinical
strategies for disaster response. Through its association with national-
and world-renowned physician experts at YNHHS, protocols have been
developed and communicated to healthcare practitioners throughout
Connecticut. Many of the center’s plans and protocols focus on chem-
ical, biological, and radiological emergencies.
The Connecticut Hospital Chemical Response Plan was created to
address the antidotes, decontamination procedures, and surge capaci-
ties that are needed to respond to a chemical event.
This plan was devel-
oped for use by YNHHS clinical experts as a statewide acute care hospital
chemical response model.
A Universal Respiratory Etiquette protocol was designed to reduce
the spread of easily transmissible and contagious diseases, and to reduce
the risks of transmitting infections among and between patients, med-
ical personnel, staff, and others with whom contact is possible. This pro-
tocol has been implemented in all of Connecticut’s acute care hospitals,
emergency medical service agencies, and outpatient service areas.
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Specific infection control protocols have been developed for
influenza, smallpox, and severe acute respiratory syndrome. To help
other healthcare organizations develop their own plans, the center devel-
oped an Infectious Disease Control Protocol Flowchart template that
outlines every aspect of infection control, including case definition, the
use of personal protective equipment, environmental controls, and vis-
itation policies.
The Connecticut Hospital Radiation Response Plan was created to
identify the decontamination, triage, and treatment resources that should
be mobilized after the occurrence of a radiation event. This plan is being
considered as a model for implementation by other states.
The center has collaborated with the DPH to develop a biodosimetry
laboratory to evaluate and manage the health risks associated with radi-
ation exposure. This laboratory is one of only three such laboratories in
the nation that focus on the biological assessment of radiation expo-
The laboratory is used to provide timely information to health-
care delivery personnel about patient radiation exposure. It also is being
used to support the development of new methods for calculating indi-
vidual radiation exposure so that larger numbers of people can be
screened in the aftermath of a terrorist-related radiological event.
The center also has worked with the DPH to develop an implemen-
tation plan for a hospital emergency department syndromic surveillance
program. This program, which enables the early detection of terrorism-
related illnesses, analyzes health-related data from hospital emergency
departments to identify trends in symptoms that are consistent with
biological, chemical, or radiation exposure.
The data can be used to
more quickly detect outbreaks, estimate the immediate impact of the
disease, determine the rate of distribution and spread of the illness, and
facilitate necessary control measures. Data analysis is an important aspect
of this program, and the center has played a key role in evaluating
existing syndromic surveillance software products for use in Con-
necticut’s hospitals.
76 Case 3 Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness
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