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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Laboratory Emergency Preparedness. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Policies and Procedures

Effective response to emergencies requires plans with supporting policies and procedures. These include:
  • Event command center operations
  • Communications methods
  • Staffing
  • Evacuation plans and relocation of services
  • Sheltering in place
  • Hazardous substance management
  • Training
  • Exercises
Leadership is a critical part of emergency management. Policies and procedures that define when and how an event command center is opened are essential. Defining who is responsible for notifying emergency management organizations outside the facility needs to be included. Since relocation of services has many effects, existing agreements between supporting organizations should be well known. This includes the clinical laboratory having arrangements with outside laboratories to perform critical functions. Each employee in the facility should know how to access the plans for their facility, understand how to communicate both up and down the chain of command, and actively participate in exercises. Tabletop and walk through exercises are used to initially evaluate the procedures.