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California Hospitals Hold Disaster Planning Conference

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Hundreds of doctors, nurses and hospital officials will meet in Sacramento this week to talk about disaster planning. It's the third annual statewide conference on disaster preparedness for hospitals.

— Hundreds of doctors, nurses and hospital officials will meet in Sacramento this week to talk about disaster planning. It's the third annual statewide conference on disaster preparedness for hospitals.

This year the focus is on how to get ready for a possible swine flu epidemic. Health officials have a number of concerns, including preparing for a surge in patients and health worker safety.

Jan Emerson, who is with the California Hospital Association, said the conference will highlight some new ideas. For example, Emerson said Stanford Hospital will talk about its drive-thru approach to evaluating sick people in their cars.

"So it keeps patients who might be communicable with some type of disease, keeps them self-contained in their car, and their car becomes essentially an isolation unit," Emerson said.

State health officials will also discuss California's plan to roll out the swine flu vaccine later this year.

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