Emergency or Crisis Management Plan

Purpose and Background

The purpose of this document is to describe a management plan for an emergency or crisis in the Duke University School of Nursing as well as to establish relationships, responsibilities, and continuity in the event of an emergency or crisis.

 

Important Note

If an individual is in need of immediate medical treatment, human lives are at risk, or a crime is being committed (including acts of violence) first call Duke Police at 911 (if calling from a land line on Duke property) or 684-2444 (if calling from a cell phone). The acute situation should be managed first, and only after it is stabilized (or at the first opportunity) should the administrative channels of communication described in this document be implemented.

 

Connectivity with Duke University and Health System

Duke University (DU) has established an emergency management plan to prevent and respond to emergencies and crisis at the University and School level. In addition, the Duke University Health System (DUHS) has an emergency plan given the unique complexities of a health system. The emergency management plan for the School of Nursing (SoN) must articulate with both the DU and DUHS plans.

 

The School of Nursing is connected to the Duke University emergency management process as well as the DUHS emergency leadership team by way of its Associate Dean, Finance and Administration (ADFA). The ADFA is a member of the Duke University Emergency Management Council which meets and communicates regularly to continually improve emergency and crisis planning across Duke. In the event of an emergency or crisis, the ADFA, with the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs (ADAA) as back-up, participates on the applicable DU or DUHS/DUMC emergency team and advises on SoN issues.

 

SoN Emergency Leadership Team

The SoN has established an Emergency Leadership Team (ELT) to lead the management and mitigation of emergencies and crisis at the school level.

 

ELT Mission: The mission of the ELT is to provide leadership and coordinate communications during and immediately after an emergency or crisis so that the effects of the emergency are minimized, with prioritization given to the safety of SoN people.

 

ELT Activation: Emergencies or crisis can take varying forms and involve a full spectrum of severity. Some involve DU or DUHS activating its formal emergency plan due to a wide reaching crisis or emergency that potentially impacts all schools. Others are localized to the School of Nursing or its people. In some cases, the emergency involves injury, death, or a significant safety concern. Other situations put the SoN’s reputation, brand, or finances at risk.

 

The ADFA of the SoN will determine when the ELT is to be activated. In the ADFA’s absence, the ADAA will decide if the ELT should be convened. If the emergency is declared for the SoN and the ELT is activated, the ELT members will be contacted by the ADFA or designee. Wallet cards with contact numbers for ELT members plus other leaders or staff of the school are provided to ELT members and the others listed on the card and updated by the ADFA’s office.

 

The vast majority of SoN emergencies or crisis do not require the activation of the ELT, but rather close coordination among members of the school’s ELT, other school leaders, and in some cases university or health system leaders/personnel. The ADFA makes the decision as to activation of the ELT based upon the response and structure that will create the best outcome in the particular crisis situation. Often this includes engaging the help of other ELT members, members of the ADFA’s staff, and/or other support departments within the SoN. The ADFA coordinates closely with the Dean in all crisis or emergency situations and will engage the Dean in decisions that should be made by her, when logistically possible.

 

ELT Membership: The SoN ELT consists of the Dean, ADFA, the Associate Deans, and the Assistant Dean, Marketing, Communications and Business Development. This team will convene either in person (in the Command Center, conference room 3023) or via conference call. In case of a situation where the ADFA cannot be involved, the ADAA will serve as the Incident Commander.

 

ELT Responsibilities:

  1. Notify emergency response personnel if they have not already been notified, using the appropriate Duke University emergency management protocols.

  2. Coordinate with University officials based on the nature of the individual incident.

  3. Serve as a central point for incoming and outgoing information on the emergency or crisis.

  4. Develop an appropriate mechanism for communication of the emergency or crisis and update for internal constituencies.

  5. Determine the appropriate response to the situation.

  6. The first responsibility of supervisors and managers during a workplace emergency is to protect life and property by notifying the appropriate emergency response personnel (University police, fire) as appropriate to the situation. The ADFA should be notified within 30 minutes, or as early as possible, when any emergency response personnel are called due to an incident in the SoN, on its property, in its leased spaces or involving one of its employees or students. The ADFA or designee in communication with the ELT or applicable members of the ELT will determine the appropriate response to the situation.

 

The following provides an outline of position-specific responsibilities, as needed an applicable, of the SoN ELT members in the event of an emergency or crisis.

 



Position

Responsibilities

Dean

Overall responsibility for the school and makes strategic decisions in the event of an emergency or crisis. When logistically possible, the ADFA consults the Dean during the crisis or emergency about important decisions that impact the school.

Associate Dean, Finance and Administration

Establishes the basic policies and criteria for declaration of an emergency. Declares an emergency when required and is the highest level of authority during the emergency, serving as Incident Commander. Convenes the Emergency Leadership Team’s opening meeting/conference call. Has authority and responsibility for SoN matters during the emergency. Also has specific authority and responsibility for SoN facility, administrative, human resources, IT, and business related issues during the emergency. Will consult with the Dean as needed. Orders implementation of SoN emergency plans. Declares an end to the emergency and concluding dates for certain processes and procedures.

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

Has authority and responsibility for SoN academic affairs related issues especially as it relates to faculty, students, classroom and clinical experiences, and impact upon class schedules. Functions as back up to the ADFA during his absence and has back-up authority to activate the SoN ELT during the ADFA’s absence. When not serving as Incident Commander in the back up capacity, responsible for overall coordination of student and faculty issues, as well as working with the other Associate Deans.

Associate Deans for Research Affairs

Have authority and responsibility for SoN research related issues during the emergency.

Associate Dean, Global and Community Health

Has authority and responsibility for SoN international and community health related issues during the emergency.

Associate Dean, Development & Alumni Affairs

Has authority and responsibility for representing and alumni or significant donor issues as appropriate.

Assistant Dean, Marketing, Communications and Business Development

Coordinates media inquiries and works with Duke Health and University communications officials to determine public relation strategies during an emergency. Responsible for writing and distributing all DUSON communications in an emergency.

 

ELT Procedures

  1. ADFA and/or the ADFA’s Administrative Assistant are informed of the emergency or crisis.

  2. ADFA evaluates the situation, consults with other ELT members or personnel as appropriate and will activate ELT when applicable and assign responsibilities to ELT members.

  3. ELT members will direct the emergency or crisis response and engage appropriate SoN personnel (program directors, facilities director, IT director, etc.) as needed.

  4. The ADFA’s Office (through the Assistant Dean, Marketing, Communications and Business Development as applicable) will issue school-wide communication as needed to protect the safety of personnel and equipment and/or to provide instructions for alternate modes of operations during the emergency. The primary concern is the immediate preservation of human health and protection of DU property. Individuals’ right to privacy will be protected to the extent that doing so does not endanger the safety or health of others. Communications may include email, instructions via the website, nursing.duke.edu, telephone notification, and/or word of mouth dissemination depending on the nature of the emergency and the availability of electronic communication tools.

  5. When the emergency is resolved, the ADFA or designee will issue a school-wide communication and present outstanding issues/instructions as necessary.

 

Facility and Communications Items - Command Center and Call Center

Conference room 3023 - is the designated Command Center in a declared emergency/when the ELT is activated. This room is equipped with red electrical outlets that are connected to back up generator power.

 

Conference room 3088 - is the designated Call Center which would be implemented in a scenario during which we would expect a high volume of inbound telephone calls as a result of a crisis or emergency. This room is also equipped with red emergency power generator connectivity.

 

Web site – DUSON’s external facing website is connected to the DU website so that DU communications officials are able to broadcast special emergency messages as a banner at the top of the DUSON webpage. Likewise, upon the direction of the Incident Commander, the Assistant Dean, Marketing, Communications and Business Development can broadcast a DUSON specific emergency message on a banner across our DUSON webpage.

 

Important Note About the Media

All media inquiries should be directed to the Assistant Dean, Marketing, Communications and Business Development. This will help ensure that the media receive accurate and timely information and only the information that is not of a confidential nature.

 

SoN Emergency Scenario Examples

As described previously, if an individual is in need of immediate medical treatment, human lives are at risk, or a crime is being committed (including acts of violence) first call Duke Police at 911 (if calling from a land line on Duke property) or 684-2444 (if calling from a cell phone). The acute situation should be managed first, and only after it is stabilized (or at the first opportunity) should the administrative channels of communication described in the following be implemented.

 

In addition to the individuals described in the following scenarios, the Dean plus other Duke individuals as needed will be informed or consulted as part of the response or follow up communications planning.

 

Accidental Injury: The SoN manages accidental injury of students, staff, faculty, and visitors on a case-by-case basis. If the injury requires immediate medical treatment or is life threatening then the Duke Police Department should be contacted first. A member of the Emergency Leadership Team (ELT) should be alerted after the acute health needs of the injured person have been addressed. The ELT member will then contact the applicable program director, associate dean or leader for follow up according to the categories described next.

  • Student injuries requiring a doctor’s office visit are managed by the applicable faculty member or program director in consultation with the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs and generally do not require escalation to a higher level.

  • Student injuries requiring emergency room visits and/or hospital admittance are managed by the applicable program director in consultation with the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs who reports them to the ADFA.

  • Employee or visitor injuries requiring emergency room visits and/or hospital admittance are managed by the applicable supervisor for staff or the Dean’s office for faculty in consultation with the ADFA.

  • Workman’s Comp injuries are handled according to Duke policy and procedure with notification to the ADFA. Employees and their supervisor must complete an injury report via the Duke HR website.

 

Extended Power Outage: The SoN has a generator system to provide very limited power for the Pearson and IPE buildings. The Director of Facility Operations ascertains the cause and extent of outages, monitors the generator system in coordination with the Facilities Management Department (FMD), alerts SoN employees and students regarding the duration of the outage, and provides timely status reports and coordinates follow up with the ADFA. The Director of Facility Operations also communicates with the SoN IT Director to ensure a coordinated IT recovery plan. If classes will need to be relocated or cancelled or if the outage will be extensive, the Director of Facility Operations will work with faculty whose classes will be impacted to relocate the class and will notify the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs and the ADFA.

 

Criminal Acts Including Acts of Violence: The Duke Police Department at 911 or 684-2444 should be contacted first. If a suspect is present and is a danger to him or herself or others, a member of the SoN ELT should be alerted. The ELT member who was engaged to manage the situation will alert the ADFA of any criminal act.

 

Fire, Explosion, Chemical Spills: DUHS R.A.C.E procedures should be followed first, followed by alerting a member of the ELT who will manage the egress from the affected area/building via the fire escape or exit doors and will help to make sure students, faculty, and staff are removed to a safe location. The ELT member who was engaged to manage the situation will alert the ADFA who will decide if the ELT needs to be activated.

 

Natural Disasters and Severe Weather: The Duke Severe Weather/Hurricane policies are found at emergency.duke.edu. SoN personnel are classified as “delayed” in the event of severe weather and should follow related Duke and DUSON policies regarding cancellation of classes and reporting to work. When central Duke leadership cancels classes or closes the university, then DUSON’s classes are considered cancelled and DUSON is considered closed. Faculty, staff and students should not attempt to report to a DUSON facility when it is closed.

 

When inclement weather is present, but Duke officials do not close the university or cancel classes, faculty, staff and students must use personal judgment about the ability for safe travel to campus. Staff who decide to remain home due to road/weather safety concerns must notify their supervisor and work with the supervisor to coordinate coverage. Faculty or instructors who decide to remain home in a weather situation, must notify students and make up class time in accordance with school academic policy. Clinical instructors follow the decision of the clinical site and are responsible for notifying students in the clinical group and the lead course coordinating faculty member of the status of the clinical rotation

 

In the case of a natural disaster or severe weather that renders the SoN inoperable for an extended period of time, the ADFA will decide to activate the ELT on a case by case basis.

 

Any Event Which Could Reflect Upon the SoN Unfavorably in the Media: As is the case with any high quality or high profile organization, the importance of Duke’s and the SoN’s reputation can not be overstated. The ADFA will activate the ELT when there exists a significant potential that there will be substantially unfavorable reporting by the press about the SoN. In most cases, the Duke University and Duke University Health System communications and media relations offices will also be engaged significantly to help manage the public relations crisis.

 

After Hours or Weekend Emergencies: If an emergency occurs after hours, the Duke Police Department should be called. Duke Police will have contact information for the ADFA and/or members of the ELT and will contact the appropriate leader.

 

Student Issues: If a School of Nursing student is involved or reported as being involved in a criminal activity, dies, or has an emergency health issue, the Duke Police will contact the ADFA at the School of Nursing. This contact will also receive all campus police reports that involve nursing students for such things as stolen computers, car burglaries, etc. In these cases the School of Nursing will contact the students acknowledging receipt of the information and provide support if needed. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Director of Student Services are notified by the Vice President for Student Affairs in case of a student death. The School of Nursing will file a report through DukeReach (http://www.studentaffairs.duke.edu/dukereach) to be certain that all appropriate parties are notified.

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