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Hcs 533

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Gulf Coast Hospital
Gulf Coast Hospital (GCH) is a 350-bed facility that is located in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana. Louisiana is located on the gulf coast of the United States. The gulf coast is subject to severe storms including hurricanes. On August 29, 2005, Louisiana was struck by Hurricane Katrina. The flooding from Katrina destroyed most of the patient files stored in the basement of the facility. Measures were put into place prior to the catastrophic event that allowed patients to obtain their medical records to be treated at another facility and to help with the identification process of those who lost their lives. These measures will be discussed in detail in this paper.
Management Plan
Plans should be in place to make sure that patient records are secure in case of catastrophic events. A way to address this is to institute using an electronic medical record (EMR) and scan all paper-based medical records into an online system that will be maintained at an offsite area ("Paper-plagued to paperless", 2003). Paper charts, after the conversion to an online system should be stored until the time in which disposal can take place either by shredding or burning to make them “rendered essentially unreadable, indecipherable, and otherwise” reconstructed (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services [U. S. DHHS], n.d., p. 1). GCH, in response to the possibility of this type of catastrophic event, began moving to EMR in 2000. Staff training began immediately on EMR use. As an administrator of a hospital located in an area prone to hurricanes, priority is placed on preparing the staff for the possibility of a mass catastrophe. Staff is trained on privacy issues such as Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and ways to prevent the accidental disclosure of health information. Staff members are required to complete yearly...

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