The Texas ESRD Emergency Coalition (TEEC) was formed in December 2005 to facilitate the provision of quality care to people with ESRD in the event of an emergency that negatively impacts the delivery of dialysis and transplant services by establishing a collaborative Disaster Plan. TEEC is comprised of a broad based stakeholder group with objectives to improve access to alternate care providers during an emergency; develop standardized reporting forms; formulate a plan to assist emergency providers in obtaining treatment-related information on displaced patients during an emergency; develop a pre-event planning toolkit for facilities; facilitate staffing during an emergency and evaluate and improve current emergency patient education with an emphasis on informing patients of appropriate actions to take when they miss one or more treatments during an emergency.
Achievements of the coalition include partnering with Emergency Operations Centers and State Department of Health leaders, developing a system for identifying dialysis patients during an emergency through the use of lavender wristbands with core patient identifying information, developing resources for facilities and patients and setting up a central command center to assist patients and facilities in accessing dialysis care during an emergency. Since the creation of TEEC, new emergency procedures have been piloted during Hurricane Season for approximately 10,780 patients receiving dialysis in Texas Gulf Coast facilities. The deployment of a Command Center for all ESRD facilities and providers before, during and after a disaster will be under the direction of the TEEC Steering Committee. The two major LDOs, other national corporate providers and independent organizations will be represented at this command center along with the State, Network, and Emergency personnel. Using a web based application called EMSystem that is already utilized by hospitals in Texas, each dialysis provider will be registered online so that facility status, capacity to accept patients, need for supplies and or staff can be reviewed in real time and used to direct the placement of evacuating patients in need of dialysis. Representatives will be able to triage, place patients, move patients, allocate resources and organize supplies, etc.
The Command Center will monitor how certain problems could or are affecting the ESRD community, visualize efforts of the State Emergency Management Team, communicate with dialysis facilities in real time and be a part of the State of Texas efforts to evacuate, plan, and conduct after disaster recovery. TEEC operates an 800 number that patients and providers can use in the event of an emergency. To our knowledge, TEEC is the first ESRD coalition that is non-profit and volunteer driven to organize such an extensive statewide collaboration. It is truly on the cutting edge. Patients will receive a bracelet with their Network ID# and other identifying information to help the triage centers identify dialysis patients and alert emergency and shelter providers of the patients ESRD status. Any facility that receives a patient with the bracelet will be able to contact the command center for information. The Coalition provides dialysis and transplant facilities in the State of Texas with waterproof bags for patients to hold vital health information in the event of an evacuation. Included with the clear disaster bags is a patient flyer with important numbers and a place for patients to put their emergency contact information. TEEC has also produced a disaster preparedness video for dialysis and transplant patients. The Coalition continues to build capacity and support of the renal community.