New CMS rules and Joint Commission standards require that ALL staff be provided emergency training when hired and annually thereafter on: the UTMB Emergency Operations Plan; UTMB Priority Risks; Emergency Communications. This training must be documented.
UTMB accomplishes this through a variety of mechanisms including:
- Web-based training after new-hire onboarding and annual compliance training
- The Annual All-Hands Emergency Preparedness Briefing (live and web-based video)
- Incident Command System training for designated staff members
- Command Center position-specific and hazard-specific training for designated staff
- UTMB Webpage updates and social media posts
- Cyber-security awareness efforts
The primary method of training and documentation is through the UTMB Annual Acknowledgement Process (UTMB log in is required).
By UTMB policy every UTMB manager must meet with each employee prior to June 1 each year and discuss the employee’s emergency role(s). The manager should set expectations for fulfilling emergency obligations and how communications will take place for that department in emergencies. On completion of this discussion, both the manager and the employee fill out the online Annual Acknowledgement Form and attest that they have completed this process. The training should address the specific role or roles that the employee is expected to be able to perform (see sample roles below).
The training must also include information on to whom the employee would report in an emergency. Unless the employee is specifically assigned to the UTMB Command Center, the employee would normally report to the manager. The manager should be specific in explaining the role(s) and offer the employee the opportunity to ask questions.
Sample emergency roles:
- Command Team Ride-out
- Facilities Ride-out
- Healthcare Shelter-in-Place
- Evacuation Planning
- Decontamination Team (Hospital Emergency Response Team)
- HF Incident Care Team
- Damage Assessment Team
- Other duties as required by the department
UTMB is in the process of developing a UTMB-specific Command Center Training Program; information will be posted as soon as it is available.
Emergency Communications Plan
This plan is updated annually and provides important contact information for agencies that support UTMB during emergencies (see partial list; additional information will be posted upon review.)
UTMB Alerts – a key aspect of UTMB’s emergency communications plan is a mass notification system branded as “UTMB Alerts”
UTMB officials will tailor emergency messages to the situation and can send notifications to all hands or to targeted groups. Individuals must keep their contact information up to date to receive these notifications. The most efficient method of communication is by text to a personal cell phone. See instructions for updating your contact information and your preferences for receiving messages (text messaging is recommended).
Other methods of communications
- Global messages
- UTMB Social Media Channels including Facebook and Twitter
- Departmental Continuity Plans (e.g. departmental call trees, etc.)
- UTMB has UHF Radios that can operate on the state’s trunked emergency communications system and can reach Houston and Austin.
- UTMB also has a HAM/High Frequency radio capability and satellite phone capability to use as a backup when other systems fail
- UTMB Police operate radios on Law Enforcement Channels
- Network and Internet-based Communications
The Intermedix applications WebEOC, EMTrack, and EMResource are the primary methods to communicate to other hospitals within our Healthcare Coalition and to the Catastrophic Medical Operations Center in Houston. Resource Requests during emergencies are sent via WebEOC