Achievement s of the coalition include: partnering with emergency operation centers and state department of health leaders, developing a system for identifying dialysis patients during an emergency through the use of lavender wristbands with core patient identifying information, developing resources for facilities and patients, and setting up a central command center to assist patients and facilities in accessing dialysis care during an emergency.
During the coalition's first year, new emergency procedures were piloted during hurricane season for the approximately 10,780 patients receiving dialysis in Texas Gulf Coast facilities. The coalition reached its goal to implement these procedures for the coast.
The deployment of a Command Center for all ESRD facilities and providers before, during and after a disaster is under the direction of the TEEC steering committee. As of May 2012, there were 203 facilities with over 15,000 patients in the Tier 1 Coastal region. In the event of a hurricane in the Gulf Coast, many of these facilities would close and patients would have to evacuate. TEEC would activate at the command center to assist in this type of activity.
Currently, the command center is located in Dallas. The two major large dialysis organizations (LDO’s), other national corporate providers, and independent organizations are represented at this command center along with the state, network, and emergency personnel.
Using a Web-based application called EMSystem that is already utilized by hospitals in Texas, each dialysis provider is registered online so that facility status, capacity to accept patients, need for supplies and or staff can be reviewed in real-time and used to direct the placement of the evacuating patients in need of dialysis.
Representatives are able to triage, place patients, move patients, allocate resources and organize supplies, etc.
The Command Center monitors how certain problems could or are affecting the ESRD community, visualizes efforts of the State Emergency Management Team, communicates with dialysis facilities in real-time and is a part of the state of Texas efforts to evacuate, plan, and conduct after disaster recovery.
To our knowledge, TEEC is the first ESRD coalition that is nonprofit and volunteer driven to organize such an extensive statewide collaboration.
Patients receive a bracelet with their network ID# and other identifying information to help the triage center s identify dialysis patients and alert emergency and shelter providers of the patients ESRD status.
Any facility that receives a patient with the bracelet will be able to contact the command center for information. The coalition has used some of its funding to provide every ESRD patient in the Texas Gulf Coast area with a large waterproof bag that contains instructions on what to do, where to go, the number to the command center, at least a three-day supply of their medications, and copies of their treatment records.