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Ref: Baltimore hospitals announce information-sharing agreement


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Hospitals agree to share resources for emergency preparedness

Stephen Janis, The Examiner

Jan 25, 2007 3:00 AM (4 days ago)

BALTIMORE - Baltimore moved one step closer to being adequately prepared for a disaster as city leaders announced a major agreement between 11 local hospitals to share resources during citywide emergencies.

“Baltimore City has the best hospitals in the nation,” Mayor Sheila Dixon said. “And now city residents can sleep soundly and know they’re prepared to work together.”

The Baltimore City Healthcare Mutual Aid system, signed in April, includes 11 area hospitals that agreed to share staff and resources during an emergency, such as a major hurricane or terrorist attack.

The plan calls for the Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management to act as coordinators, and gives participating hospitals access to up-to-date information from the city’s emergency management center.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore City Health Department commissioner, called the plan a crucial part of emergency preparedness, preventing a single hospital from being overwhelmed in case of emergency.

“The plan helps hospitals share information about resources and staffing which is important to maintaining good care in a disaster,” he said. Participating hospitals, Sharfstein said, chose when to implement the system independently.

The system will not replace existing city and state disaster plans, officials said. Samuel Ross, CEO of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System said his experience as a hospital administrator in Dallas during Hurricane Katrina taught him that being prepared means good planning. “The plan is about being proactive. That’s the key to preparing for a disaster.”

The participating hospitals are Bon Secours Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Harbor Hospital, Johns Hopkins Health System, Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, Maryland General Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Sinai Hospital, St. Agnes, Union Memorial Hospital and University of Maryland Medical Center.

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