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Alternate Care Sites

I Policy
When ALH's hospital environment can no longer support adequate care, treatment and services patients will be discharged (when medically indicated and socially responsible) or transferred to an alternate care site. 

II Selecting an Alternate Care Site
A. The Incident Commander in consultation with the CEO, incident command staff members and local and state authorities will decide when it is necessary to move patients to an alternate care site.
B. The incident command staff will contact VHA facilities designated on the MUO as alternate care sites to determine the availability of beds. Huntsville, Decatur General and Eliza Coffee Memorial hospitals will be contacted first. More distant hospitals will be contacted when local hospitals do not have beds available to accept ALH patients.
C. The incident command staff will also enter the bed requirement into the Alabama Incident Management System (AIMS).

III Transportation
A. The Staging Manager will coordinate transportation.
1. ALH EMS will be used to transport patients the to   greatest extent possible.
2. HEMSI will be contacted to activate the mutual aid agreement.
3. The Athens-Limestone EMA will be contacted to request additional transportation support for patients, staff and equipment using Emergency Support Function 1.

B. The Liaison Officer and Operations Section Chief will determine which hospital will accept each patient and coordinate transportation with the Staging Manager.
C. ALH staff will not be transported to the alternate care site unless required to care for patients in route or requested by the receiving facility.
D. Equipment will not be transported unless requested by the receiving facility.

IV Transferring Patient Necessities
A. Medications and medical records will be transported with patients whenever possible.
B. The Medical Care Chief will coordinate the packaging of records and medications for transport. Records will be copied before they are transferred whenever the situation permits.

V Tracking Patients
A. The Patient Tracking Officer will maintain a log of patients who are transferred and the receiving facility and physician (when known).
B. The Public Information Officer will provide this Information to patients' families.

VI Communication
A. The ALH incident command center will be ALH's communication center as long as it remains functional.
B. Telephone and internet will be the primary communication modes. Southern Linc is the primary backup.
C. Also SEE Appendix D Communication Plan.