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Disaster Management at Hospitals: CARE Hospitals’ Response to Hudhud*

CASE STUDY, HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT
ET Cases, 18 Pages

Case Preview

Disaster Management at Hospitals: CARE Hospitals’ Response to Hudhud


“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work”1

– Peter Drucker, Management Consultant, Educator and Author


In October 2014, Prarthana Singh (Prarthana), a hospital management intern, was undergoing induction at CARE Hospitals, Ramnagar, Visakhapatnam (Vizag), Andhra Pradesh. She was excited about joining the hospital and at the same time nervous about the work and responsibilities she might be entrusted with. Little did she know that her internship at CARE Hospitals was going to be a life-changing event when she would be a part of disaster management team at the hospital in the wake of cyclone Hudhud that struck Vizag in October 2014.

On October 8th 2014, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a warning about cyclone Hudhud which had crossed Andaman and Nicobar islands and was expected to hit the eastern coast of India including Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and few of the neighboring countries including Nepal. Subsequently, an alert was sounded in nine out of 13 districts2 of Andhra Pradesh.

At CARE Hospitals, Ramnagar, Vizag, (CARE Hospitals), Dr. Mohan Maharaj (Dr. Mohan), Medical Director and Ashim Kumar (Ashim), Facility COO, received a phone call from the Corporate Office in Hyderabad, informing them of the warning issued by IMD. At that time, CARE Hospitals was in the midst of ‘National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers’ (NABH) inspection along with other activities like workshops and conferences. With the warning announced, it was unclear if the hospital would cancel the workshops and the conferences and prepare for the cyclone or will it take it as one of the minor cyclone warnings which the area received frequently. While talking about the workshop, Dr. Mohan said, “We could not change the dates, it was fixed two months back….”3 Dr. Mohan and Ashim were in a dilemma – If the warnings were serious, how could they prepare the hospital for disaster management at such a short notice? They wondered, what should be their disaster management plan?..................

 


 1 “An Entrepreneur’s Life”, http://www.entrepreneurslife.com/thoughts/entry/peter-drucker-plans-are-only-good-intentions-unless/(accessed date: August 10th 2016)
2 “Cyclone ‘Hudhud’ may hit Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts by Sunday”, http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-10-09/news/54827620_1_severe-cyclonic-storm-paddy-crop-phailin, October 9th 2016 (accessed date: August 22nd 2016)
3 Personal Interview conducted with Dr. Mohan Maharaj by Dr. Bhawna Gulati and Dr. Ankur Nigam, Administrative StaffCollege of India (ASCI), February 15th , 2016

Teaching Note Preview

Disaster Management at Hospitals: CARE Hospitals’ Response to Hudhud


Synopsis

This case study enables an understanding on the concept of disaster management by narrating and analyzing disaster management planning at CARE Hospitals, Ramnagar, Visakhapatnam (Vizag), during the severe cyclonic storm Hudhud in October 2014. While the warning from the India Meteorological Department was passed off by many as yet another cyclone that Vizag was used to, CARE Hospitals took the warning seriously. Dr. Mohan Maharaj, Medical Director and Ashim Kumar, Facility COO, immediately drafted a contingency plan to handle the situation arising out of the impact of Hudhud. On October 12th 2014, the cyclone made a landfall near Vizag, ravaging the city and disrupting normal life.

CARE Hospitals, however, was well prepared and kept functioning in an ‘altered’ state. Although the hospital was faced with dilemmas, it underscored the importance of disaster management and planning. The case study highlights the need for strict implementation of disaster management plans and protocols in hospitals and public buildings given the rapidly increasing healthcare investment in country and expansion in healthcare domain.

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding/Before the Classroom Discussion

The students/participants should:

• Visit http://www.carehospitals.com/ – To have an understanding about the organization being discussed in the classroom
• Watch the following videos:

  • (a) “ET CASES Case Suite on ‘Disaster Management at Hospitals: CARE Hospitals’ Response to Hudhud’ with Dr. Mohan Maharaj”, https://youtu.be/fxw2YAbX7hs, September 15th2016
  • (b) “ET CASES Case Suite on ‘Disaster Management at Hospitals: CARE Hospitals’ Response to Hudhud’ with Ashim Kumar”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYWgNxjQmVI,November 2nd 2016
  • (c) “ET CASES Case Suite on ‘Disaster Management at Hospitals: CARE Hospitals’ Response to Hudhud’ with Susan Roberts”, https://youtu.be/x3hLdFiTSPQ, September 15th 2016

 

The students/participants should also be asked to read the following:

•S K Joshi, “Disaster Management Program in a Hospital”, Chapter No. 41, Quality Management in Hospitals, Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd., 2009 – To understand the concepts of hospital planning and disaster management
•Sanjay Mehta, “Disaster and mass casualty management in a hospital: How well are we prepared?”, http://www.jpgmonline.com/article.asp?issn=0022-3859;year=2006;volume=52;issue=2;spage=89;epage=90;aulast=Mehta, 2006 – To understand the concept of disaster management and how hospitals can be prepared for the same
•“Guidelines for Hospital Emergency Preparedness Planning”, http://asdma.gov.in/pdf/publication/undp/guidelines_hospital_emergency.pdf, 2002–2008 – To understand the significance of Incidence Command System (ICS) in disaster management

Case Positioning and Setting

This case study can be used in:

• Management Programs in general and in MBA Programs in Hospital Management in particular – To understand the concept of disaster management and the need for well-planned and proactive management and right decision making in tackling disasters and natural calamities

Assignment Questions

I. What is disaster management? Discuss the importance of alarms given by the government for the vulnerable population.
II. What is a ‘contingency plan’ and what is ‘command nucleus’ in disaster management? Who were the main players in maintaining smooth operations of the hospital during the disaster phase? Discuss their roles with reference to disaster management planning at CARE Hospitals.
III. .............

Preamble to the Case Analysis

The aim of this case study is to help understand the concept of disaster management at hospitals and its importance. The students/participants get an idea of disasters in Vizag and need for proper disaster management planning. In discussing disaster management and other allied concepts such as contingency plan, command nucleus, etc., the government’s efforts in that direction were also discussed. The significance of disaster management planning was reiterated by analyzing disaster management at CARE Hospitals. The classroom discussion was orchestrated accordingly [Exhibit (TN)-I]...................

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Abstract

 

This case study showcases the real life experiences of extensive planning at CARE Hospitals, Ramnagar, Visakhapatnam (Vizag), in meeting the challenges posed by Hudhud, a cyclone resulting in a natural calamity, which hit Vizag in October 2014. In the backdrop of CARE Hospitals’ response to Hudhud, this case study aims to introduce the concept of disaster management and helps understand the ways for optimum utilization of available resources. It enables an understanding on the necessary steps to be taken to avoid or minimize the risks involved with an anticipated problem, the onslaught of Hudhud in this case. The case study however questions the preparedness of Indian hospitals (both private and government), in tackling the situations arising out of natural disasters and enables a debate on the role of concerned authorities and the government in dealing with such natural calamities. The case study highlights the dilemmas faced by hospital authorities in attending to a sudden inflow of patients in critical condition with limited resources.



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the concept of disaster management and the importance of alarms from the government on impending disaster scenarios
  • To study the concepts of ‘contingency plan’ and ‘command nucleus’ in disaster management and analyze the role of hospital personnel in efficient disaster management
  • To analyze the importance of disaster management planning in hospitals and discuss the government’s efforts in that direction

Case Positioning and Setting

This case study can be used in:

  • Management Programs in general and in MBA Programs in Hospital Management in particular – To understand the concept of disaster management and the need for well-planned and proactive management and right decision making in tackling disasters and natural calamities

** Related Videos -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxw2YAbX7hs&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYWgNxjQmVI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3hLdFiTSPQ&feature=youtu.be


*Administrative Staff College of India and ET CASES thank Dr. B. Somaraju (Chairman & Managing Director, The CARE Hospitals Group) and CARE Hospitals for the support and cooperation in developing this Case Study.



This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Study
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
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