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DNP 815 W6 Discussion Question One

DNP 815 W6 Discussion Question One


Discuss “Envisioning Recovery” as an overarching framework for practice development and focus for all health care treatment.

Disaster recovery is a process of strategic community planning, similar to that which takes place in communities throughout the country every day, except that it entails the enormous challenges of time compression: a process that would normally occur over decades must be carried out within a relatively short period of time (). Beginning the recovery planning process before a disaster and leveraging the products of other community planning efforts can make post-disaster recovery planning more efficient and also better ensure that opportunities for community betterment (including health improvement) are not missed. In this chapter,

DNP 815 W6 Discussion Question One

DNP 815 W6 Discussion Question One

the committee uses the strategic planning process as a framework for describing the opportunities and mechanisms for incorporating health considerations into the recovery planning process, both before and after a disaster. It should be emphasized that the intent here is not to provide a comprehensive description of the recovery planning process; such a description is beyond the scope of this study and has been provided elsewhere.


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In strategic planning, quantifiable data and a process of systematic analysis are used to develop goals, identify alternatives, and establish criteria for decision making. Although there are slight variations and differences in terminology, the general structure of such planning processes (whether developing a comprehensive plan, health improvement plan, or disaster recovery plan) is similar. After an initial period of laying the groundwork, there is often a visioning process and an assessment of community status and needs, assets, and contextual factors (e.g., political environment). The results of these two processes are used to establish goals and set priorities by comparing the findings of the assessment against the community’s vision to identify gaps between the current status within the community and the desired state. Strategies are developed to close the gaps through input from stakeholders (including the public) and analysis of alternatives. These strategies are incorporated into a plan, and implementation partnerships (or operational structures) are developed. Finally, the plan is implemented. Resources are identified and applied, and progress is continuously measured using preestablished benchmarks. Even if it is not possible to tackle each priority area initially, a prioritized list makes it possible to evaluate future opportunities to determine how they can be leveraged to achieve the community’s shared vision. Thus, the process of implementation feeds into a continuous cycle of assessment, planning, and implementation.

The strategic planning process, if successful, creates new channels for communication and builds consensus on the community’s greatest needs going forward. This consensus building is critical to keep decision makers focused on long-term strategic objectives rather than on reactionary responses to the crisis of the day. Thus, obtaining buy-in from leadership is an essential step in ensuring that the plan is acted upon.

In the context of integrating health into the disaster recovery planning process, each of the steps in the strategic planning cycle presents opportunities. These are summarized below and then described in more detail throughout this chapter. It should be emphasized that, although the process is presented as sequential for purposes of exposition, in reality the order of steps may be varied, and some may be undertaken simultaneously. For example, visioning may occur before, simultaneously with, or after an assessment process, and because the process is a continuous cycle, the implementation step feeds into a new assessment used to evaluate the impact of the activities undertaken.

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