In recent years, the Hunter New England and Central Coast area has been affected by various disasters, severe weather events, mass casualty events and the pandemic. A hot and dry summer is forecasted with increased risk of heatwaves, bushfires, smoke, and drought (On 19/09/2023 the BOM has declared that an El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole are underway. Media Releases - Bureau of Meteorology Newsroom (bom.gov.au). In addition, cybersecurity incidents become more prevalent across the sector, and staff shortages and frequent turnovers may make emergency planning processes more difficult.
In preparation for and during emergencies and disasters, a practice needs to safeguard its own staff and business.
The PHN recognizes the pivotal role general practices have as they are the backbone of Australia's healthcare infrastructure and are inherently involved in their community’s disaster response and recovery processes. During emergencies, the demand for healthcare services typically surges. General practitioners and their teams have consistently risen to the occasion, ensuring individuals in need receive prompt and compassionate care.
The PHN is proud to announce that it is supporting Hunter New England and Central Coast General Practices by offering one hundred free one-year licenses for the ERPT tool, to strengthen their preparedness and resilience.
Introducing the ERPT: Your Emergency and Business Continuity Planning Solution
The Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT) is an online resource supporting general practices to effectively plan, prepare, respond, and recover from the impacts of emergencies and disasters.
ERPT was developed by health point NZ and the RACGP and assists practices in developing a tailored emergency and business continuity plan that reflects their individual risk. ERPT complies with the 5th edition of the RACGP standards toward accreditation.
It promotes the safety of staff, the continuity of business and the smooth recovery of practices. This ultimately reduces a practice’s risk of financial loss if affected by an emergency or disaster, which the developers health point NZ and the RACGP have conservatively estimated as loss of approx. $15,000 per day for an average sized, four doctor practice.
The ERPT incorporates a multi-hazards approach and covers:
- Severe weather
- Heatwave, drought
- Bushfire, Structural fire
- Cybersecurity event
- Pandemic incl. Covid 19 safety plan
- Gas/Chemical incident
- Emergency exterior to practice
- Complete or partial loss of practice premises
- Disruption water/gas supply
- Loss of power
- Telecommunications disruption
- Loss of IT or damage to IT
- Loss electronic or business records
- Loss of availability of key staff
- Aggression and violence toward staff
- Stress on staff
How does it work?
Users are guided through a series of relevant modules, simplified with pre-populated information. Practices can complete it in stages or in one sitting. When finished, they have a personalized practice emergency response plan. The toolkit’s information is updated regularly so you can rest assured that your business continuity plan is based on the most current available evidence and recommendations.
The ERPT is easy to use: The modules can be completed by anyone in the practice who would be involved in the emergency response – this can be a General Practitioner or delegated to a practice manager or specially assigned staff.
- You may apply for the ERPT license if:
- You are a General Practice
- Your practice is in the Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN catchment.
- Every practice location can receive one license.
- You are new to the ERPT.
- You already use the toolkit and would like to receive another 12 months on top of your existing license, for free.
If this has sparked your interest, click here to apply for your ERPT license.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this initiative.