OHA Launches Pandemic Planning Toolkit for Small, Rural, and Northern Hospitals

    TORONTO, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has
launched a "Pandemic Planning Toolkit" designed specifically for the
province's small, rural, and northern hospitals. The Toolkit was developed by
the OHA in response to the unique issues and challenges faced by these
hospitals in developing emergency response plans specific to an influenza
    "Geographic remoteness, long distances, low density populations, fewer
providers, and inclement weather conditions are all factors impacting our
small, rural, and northern hospitals' ability to provide timely access to
care," said Tom Closson, OHA President and CEO. "Through this Toolkit, our
small, rural and northern hospital leaders have access to practical resources
that will support them in furthering the culture of safety and preparedness
they are working so hard to attain in their organizations and communities."
    The Ontario Health Pandemic Influenza Plan (OHPIP), developed by the
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, estimates that a moderate influenza
pandemic could result in between 15 - 35% of Ontario's population falling ill.
It also reports that of those who become ill, approximately 53% will require
outpatient or primary care, with 1.5 - 2% requiring hospitalization.
    The objectives of the Toolkit are to provide practical strategies,
checklists and templates to assist small, rural, and northern hospitals with
the development and implementation of their pandemic plans.

    Information contained in the Toolkit includes:

    -  A chapter on Community Pandemic Planning and Response, outlining what
       pandemic planning could look like at the community level

    -  "Seven Steps to developing a Hospital Pandemic Plan", which is
       outlined in the Hospital Pandemic Plan and Response chapter

    -  Detail about what the various levels of government are doing to meet
       information needs, and about the tools that are offered to assist
       hospitals and other organizations in pandemic planning

    -  Guidelines and tools for developing service reduction, human
       resources, and equipment and supplies plans, as well as a
       communications strategy

    "The OHA recognizes that planning efforts must not be in isolation and
that we must take a community-based approach to pandemic planning to ensure
coordination and cooperation across sectors," said Closson. "Our Toolkit is
designed with this in mind, and we hope that it will also be useful in
addressing the pandemic planning issues of our health care and business
partners across the system."
    Every hospital in Ontario has been provided with a copy of the Toolkit to
help guide their pandemic influenza planning activities. Additional hard
copies of the toolkit can be ordered online by visiting the OHA's website at
www.oha.com and going to "Communications - Publications for Sale - Publication
No.319" or by calling 416-205-1350.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact, OHA Public Affairs, (416)

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