Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Inc.
SUPPORT FOR GME PROGRAMS DURING DISASTERS POLICY
In the event of a disaster that interrupts graduate medical education, the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals (MCWAH) is committed to reconstituting and restructuring the housestaff educational experiences as soon as possible. Disasters may create safety, health and mental health issues for housestaff which will need to be assessed and considered when restructuring GME education.
A disaster is defined as an event or set of events which, in the process, also causes significant alteration to the educational experience at one or more GME programs sponsored by MCWAH.
1. Communication with Program Directors will be critical if a disaster occurs in order to assess the impact of the disaster on education and the housestaff's health and welfare. If necessary:
a. MCWAH's Executive Director, Administrator or Director of Risk Management will contact Program Director(s) utilizing the contact list provided to MCWAH quarterly by MCW Security.
b. MCWAH will contact the Program Director(s).
2. In the event of a disaster, each Program Director will assess the impact that the disaster has had on the health and welfare of the Program's housestaff and the resources available to support the Program's educational experiences by:
a. Contacting housestaff in the program to gather information on their health and welfare,
b. Referring the housestaff to available resources for care, and
c. Assessing the functionality of facilities and institutions that support the program's educational experiences.
3. In the event of a disaster, the Designated Institutional Official (DIO) will assess the impact that the disaster has had on the educational experience of the impacted program(s). The DIO will assign an institutional designee to act in his/her absence. If neither the DIO nor the institutional designee is available, the MCW Dean will appoint an Interim DIO. As part of the assessment, the DIO will:
a. Contact the Program Directors to determine the availability and condition of the housestaff and the feasibility for training with in affected hospitals and clinics.
b. Discuss and assess the feasibility of continuing GME training.
4. The DIO will notify the ACGME Executive Director of the disaster and, if appropriate, request a declaration of a disaster. ACGME will post the notice on its website.
5. As soon as possible and to the extent possible, MCWAH will determine whether the disruption in the program's ability to provide adequate educational experience is temporary or permanent.
6. If the DIO determines one or more programs sponsored by MCWAH cannot provide adequate educational experience for its housestaff, the Program Director and MCWAH will:
a. Arrange for temporary transfers to other programs/institutions until such time as the program(s) can provide an adequate educational experience for each of its residents and fellows, or
b. Assist the residents and fellows in permanent transfers to other programs or institutions.
If more than one program or institution is available, MCWAH will consider the preference of the housestaff when selecting the program or institution that will continue the training. Every effort will be made to maximize the likelihood that the resident or fellow will be able to complete the training year.
7. Within 10 days after the declaration of a disaster, the DIO or the institutional designee, will contact the ACGME to discuss due dates that ACGME will establish for the programs:
a. To submit program reconfigurations to the ACGME, and
b. To inform each program's housestaff of the transfer decisions.
The due dates for the submission shall be no later than 30 days after the disaster unless other due dates are approved by the ACGME.
8. The ACGME will assist with communication during a declared disaster. The ACGME will have phone numbers and email addresses for emergency and other communication with the ACGME from disaster-affected institutions.
a. The DIO should call or email the Institutional Review Committee Executive Director with information or requests for information.
b. The Program Director should call or email the appropriate Review Committee Executive Director with information and/or requests for information.
c. Residents and fellows should call or email the appropriate Review Committee Executive Director with information and/or requests for information. On its website, the ACGME will provide instructions for changing resident email information on the ACGME Web Accreditation Data System.
9. In the event of a disaster, MCWAH will try to communicate directly with the Program Director(s) and housestaff via multiple communication channels including telephone, cellular phones and electronically. If possible, MCWAH will use its own website, as well as ACGME's website, to communicate new information and guidance.
10. ACGME will establish a fast track process for reviewing (and approving or not approving) submissions by programs relating to program changes to address disaster effects including:
a. The addition or deletion of a participating institution,
b. Change in the format of the educational program, and
c. Change in the approved resident complement.
11. If a resident or fellow is temporarily transferred, the program must inform each resident of the minimum duration and the estimated actual duration of his/her temporary transfer, and continue to keep each resident informed of such duration. If the transfer will continue to and/or through the end of a training year, the program must inform the resident or fellow that has been transferred.
12. Once ACGME receives information concerning a disaster-affected program's condition, it may determine that one or more site visits is required. Prior to the visit, the DIO or institutional designee will receive notification of the information that will be required. This information, as well as information received by ACGME during these site visits, may be used for accreditation purposes. Site visits that were scheduled prior to a disaster may be postponed.
The original policy was approved on August 20, 2007 and the revised policy was approved by the MCWAH Graduate Medical Education Council on August 16, 2010.