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NJHA's Sellers Serves on Institute of Medicine Preparedness Panel

PRINCETON, N.J., April 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NJHA's Valerie Sellers was a panelist today at an Institute of Medicine regional workshop on emergency preparedness in New York.

The regional workshops, "Standards of Care During a Mass Casualty Event," are part of an Institute of Medicine initiative to support the nation's healthcare providers as they plan for a public health emergency. The lessons are applicable to an array of health emergencies and illustrate the healthcare community's commitment to emergency preparedness.

Sellers, NJHA's senior vice president of health planning and research, is serving on the Provider Communities panel, which addresses the roles and responsibilities of hospitals and other healthcare providers in implementing standard of care protocols to guide them in caring for a surge in patients.

"Today's swine flu headlines are a dramatic backdrop to this workshop and countless other preparedness activities that healthcare providers have been engaged in," said Sellers. "Preparedness is always a work in progress, but New Jersey's hospitals and healthcare providers nationwide have spent years making sure they're better prepared than ever before."

Sellers added, "The issue of standards of care is extremely complex involving emotional, legal and clinical issues, among others. Some states have made great strides but there are other states that are just starting. The panel is examining what is preventing others from moving forward in this critical area of preparedness."

NJHA has drawn on the expertise of those on the front lines of hospitals and experts in the field of emergency preparedness to develop Planning Today for a Pandemic Tomorrow, a comprehensive resource that hospitals have been using to guide their preparedness efforts. The resource includes 10 modules that address how to develop effective policies and procedures in critical areas such as Clinical Care, Ethical, Operations, Finance and Human Resources.

The tool kit also includes 53 video vignettes that reflect scenarios representing some of the more complex issues associated with a pandemic. These vignettes have served as an important education and planning tool for hospitals. Hospitals and other healthcare providers can access the resource via NJHA's Web site at

"Hospitals can use this tool to review existing policies and procedures, identify gaps, adopt new policies and procedures and generate a plan that will facilitate a more effective response during a pandemic. If a healthcare facility can feel confident in its preparedness efforts for a pandemic, then it will be well positioned to respond to other hazards," states Sellers.

Based in Princeton, NJHA has been providing its members with advocacy, information, research and education since 1918.

SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association
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