Recently, members of the Collin County Medical Operations Committee (CCMOC) met to discuss important topics affecting our county's healthcare infrastructure. The CCMOC focuses on issues which impact the healthcare resources of our community and looks for potential solutions. With our exploding population, our county agencies, hospitals and emergency responders are facing specific challenges related to the transportation and management of patients in mass casualty or mass fatality events.
The event was hosted by Collin County Emergency Management and the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) team, which is under the umbrella of the Health Department. The Medical Examiner's office, local fire department and area hospitals also sent representatives to attend the CCMOC meeting.
Dr. Mark Gamber, who serves as the Health Authority for the City of Frisco and as Medical Director for the Plano and Frisco Fire Departments, spoke to the group about the need for EMS and hospitals to use consistent terminology when responding to events so that the first responders can quickly determine the best option for the injured patient. Also, the topic of a centralized communication hub with the ability to continually monitor hospital trauma and related resources throughout the county was identified as a pressing need. All were in agreement that assessing and communicating hospital resource thresholds is critical as hospitals within our county seek higher levels of trauma classifications.
The Medical Examiner's office staff explained how our growth has affected the county's capacity to handle fatalities. To illustrate how public health issues have an effect on our partnering agencies, the county's Chief Epidemiologist, Dr. Jawaid Asghar, gave an update on recent outbreaks and rare diseases and their impact on hospitals and emergency responders.
With these topics in mind, the CCMOC is moving forward and focusing on building stronger collaborative efforts amongst our agencies in order to meet the county's current and future healthcare needs.
Emergency Management and PHEP were formerly housed together at the Sheriff's Office under Homeland Security. The County Commissioners' Court recently decided to split the group in two, with PHEP relocated physically and administratively under the county health department.