Introduction to PRMRS - Panhandle Regional Medical Response System
The Nebraska Panhandle comprises 11 counties and includes 8 hospitals and 2 public health jurisdictions. There is a long history of cooperative, interagency planning and infrastructure development covering a wide array of healthcare needs and services. Prior to 2005, preparations for emergency medical events and other significant public health threats were directed at preparing specific institutions, jurisdictions and agencies to respond to such events. Each county Emergency Management Agency produces a Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP), an all-hazards plan integrating county-level response agencies and referencing relevant mutual aid and healthcare referral arrangements. Each public health jurisdiction has produced a Public Health Emergency Response Plan that addresses the management of public health emergencies, with particular attention to those involving infectious disease. Each hospital located in thePanhandle has prepared, to varying extents, emergency and disaster operations plans for their facility. All parties (emergency management, public health, emergency medical services, long term care facilities, hospitals and other interested entities) have jointly shared plans with each other and have facilitated the development of applicable elements of each entity’s response plans.
It is increasingly recognized that emergency events which significantly threaten the public’s health may impact citizens, institutions and response assets in multiple jurisdictions, sequentially or simultaneously. Such events (mass casualty trauma, infectious disease outbreaks, chemical or radiological exposures, etc.) call for a coordinated infrastructure and plan to effectively manage situational information, the care and flow of patients, the marshalling and dispensing of response assets, and the communication of information to decision makers and to the public.
Desiring a regional approach to address these issues, the Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network facilitated the collaborative development of the Panhandle Regional Medical Response System (PRMRS) Plan. This document describes how a multi-jurisdictional medical or public health event within the Panhandle will be managed, and begins to develop the operational procedures by which necessary healthcare-oriented response functions can be accomplished in an emergency.
The PRMRS Plan has the following attributes:
- It integrates elements of existing emergency response plans – it does NOT replace or supersede them.
- It addresses only certain medical and public health oriented response functions – it does NOT describe response functions or emergency management operations that are the province of other response sector agencies and which are addressed in other existing emergency response plans.
- It establishes a new incident management infrastructure to address public health and healthcare emergency events that require coordination across multiple Panhandle jurisdictions – this flexible incident management infrastructure is designed to closely integrate with existing systems, such as county Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), mass vaccination and prophylaxis distribution operations, and hospital disaster management practices.
- It incorporates recent standards promulgated under several national initiatives, including:
- National Incident Management System (NIMS)
- National Response Plan (NRP)
- Homeland Security Resource Typing Standards
- Homeland Security Capabilities Standards
- Hospital Emergency Incident Command Systems
- HRSA and CDC Bioterrorism Cooperative Agreement Guidance
- It begins to collate into one location certain medical and public health oriented information from across the multiple Panhandle jurisdictions.
- It provides pointers to the location of reference information from established authorities that can assist decision makers and responders during an emergency event.
It provides templates for the development of comprehensive, Panhandle-wide healthcare and public health emergency operational procedures -- it does NOT establish functional level procedures that replace or supersede existing agency and jurisdictional procedures.
Meetings are scheduled quarterly, e-mail email@example.com for more information.
Updated February 3, 2020