News and thoughts from CS Odessa, maker of the ConceptDraw product line: ConceptDraw PRO, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw MINDMAP.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Prepare Now for the Next Hurricane Sandy: Communicate Critical Information Faster, Clearer

"MINDMAP's visual interface gives the emergency planning team and our front line hospital staff a clear picture of what needs to happen in each emergency." Jill Collins

A Southern Hospital Creates Rapid-Action Planning
Jill Collins is an emergency management coordinator for a not-for-profit hospital in South Carolina. Part of her job includes managing the protocols, procedures, and policies put into place to deal with threats to the delivery of quality patient care. Collins uses ConceptDraw MINDMAP to manage and communicate planning and preparations for all of these potential problems.

Hobie: You missed the brunt of Sandy, but you still feel motivated to create an emergency plan?
Collins: Our hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission, which requires that we have a comprehensive emergency management program. Thankfully, true emergencies are infrequent... things like bad weather, chemical events, utility failures. Any one of these can compromise the hospital’s ability to function. Keeping staff prepared for events like these is an ongoing challenge. Hobie: Planning your response to emergencies like these must be very complicated. How do you manage it?
Collins: For each hazard, there are four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Within each of these four phases, the Joint Commission identifies six critical areas: communication, resources and assets, safety and security, patient management, staff responsibilities and utility management.

Inside of that overall planning, I need to be able to communicate specific plans for dealing with hazardous drugs and materials, medical equipment, utility safety, and the near-constant construction projects going on around the hospital. Then I have to explain each of these in relation to the five most likely emergencies, lay out planning for the four phases, and then show how we're prepared for the six critical areas in each phase.

Hobie: I can see how mapping would help. But how did you come to use it?
Collins: I first saw MINDMAP at a Fred Pryor professional training seminar and decided to see if it could help with this presentation. I opened up the program and just jumped into some really complicated brainstorming.

Once I finished that, I went back in and organized everything and added some additional information. Then I pushed a button and exported the whole thing into a PowerPoint presentation. I’ll tell you, seeing the PowerPoint presentations suddenly appear was the coolest thing since sliced bread. And I was just so tickled, because that was my first time using MINDMAP.

Hobie: So you use MINDMAP as a planning tool, then share it as PowerPoint slides?
Collins: No, no. That's just when I need to share an overview with management. Our hospital uses HICS, Hospital Incident Command System, a planning framework that assigns specific job tasks for each staff person’s role in the emergency. MINDMAP's visual interface gives the emergency planning team and our frontline hospital staff a clear picture of what needs to happen in each emergency.

It can also help me get buy-in on the planning since it clearly lays out each person’s role and the impact that role has in our overall handling of the emergency.

Needless to say, being able to confirm their role with a quick glance at a visual map is much easier for staff than having to plow through a text document or decipher a spread sheet.

Hobie: Do you use MINDMAP in any other ways at the hospital?
Collins: We use it when we need to put our heads together and make sure we’re considering all the angles. "Is this one response recovery mode the duty of one nursing only? Or is it nursing and maybe respiratory therapy too—and maybe radiology." MindMap gives us the ability to collaborate on these questions and leave meetings with clear action plans.

Hobie: What would you say is the one big advantage MINDMAP offers over other ways you've tried to communicate complex information to people?
Collins: In any business situation—especially ones when tension can be high, the less wording and more action-oriented items you use to convey information, the better people can focus on the job at hand. The visual display ConceptDraw MINDMAP presents helps everyone focus in on the big things, and helps make complex things much easier to understand and act on.

Learn more about how to use ConceptDraw MINDMAP to solve your business challenges.

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