Background and objectives: Hematology/oncology patients have special health needs. To identify barriers to care, we surveyed patients/parents at Children's Hospital of New Orleans 1 year after Hurricane Katrina. We then implemented a “Hurricane Action Plan”—identification of families’ evacuation plans at each hurricane season's onset; of hospital(s) and pharmacies in the intended evacuation area; updating roadmaps/treatment plans; giving information to families requiring hematology/oncology services in evacuation areas. Administration of a second survey was initiated 7 years post Katrina to assess the efficacy of the “Hurricane Action Plan.”. Methods: Both surveys were conducted on random patients attending Children's Hospital. Survey #1 was performed in 2006, while survey #2 was conducted in 2013–2014. Results: Eighty-nine percent of 124 families left New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina; only 50% had an evacuation plan. Twenty-five percent of families had difficulty physically accessing care; others (13%) could not find a hematology/oncology provider for follow-up and had difficulty reaching their primary provider or making appointments. An additional 25 percent did not have access to medical records. There was no access to mental health services. Eighty- two patients/representatives were surveyed in 2013/2014; 72% of families were evacuated during subsequent hurricane seasons with 78% of families having an evacuation plan. Thirty-six percent of patients had a roadmap/treatment plan with them; 71% had a 2-week medication supply. Ninety-two percent found information given to them by providers helpful. Conclusions: Interventions instituted to allow greater access to care by our hematology/oncology patients after Hurricane Katrina resulted in better preparedness, easier acquisition of information, and possibly better continuity of care.
- Support care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health