Skip to contents
In This Issue:
Do you know what your role is during a disaster or Code Amber alert? This fall, multiple BWH departments held drill exercises to assess their response to internal and external disaster scenarios.
One drill involved the departments of Perioperative Nursing, Anesthesiology and Surgery, engaging nearly 200 in planning, executing and debriefing.
“It was one of the largest drills that has taken place in the past few years, and the exercise presented staff with the scenario of a fire in one of the operating suites,” said Kristin Alt Styer, MSN, RN, CPAN, director of Quality Programs for Perioperative Nursing.
During this internal Code Amber drill, staff trained on how to evacuate 10 operating rooms that were in the middle of surgical cases. The drill also tested how other areas, including the PACU, would handle the evacuation overflow.
“We are very pleased with the feedback and response we received from staff who took part in the drill,” said Styer. “It’s important that we continue to be prepared for any situation that might come up.”
Many departments also participated in a city-wide drill last month that encompassed area hospitals as well as emergency personnel from the city of Boston.
The drill, called Urban Shield, focused on a scenario involving patients injured from hazardous chemical exposure.
At BWH, a decontamination tent and command center were set up to handle the mock patients. Various departments, including Emergency Medicine and Pharmacy, tested their response, including assessing patients and simulated administering medication supplied by Pharmacy.
“Part of being prepared for an emergency is understanding the procedure and having a level of comfort with it,” said Barry Wante, director of Emergency Management. “Knowing that you have successfully handled an emergency situation in the past, whether it involves carrying equipment or moving patients from one place to another, builds confidence and expertise.”
Recent events, including the shooting in Aurora, Colo., and evacuation of NYU Langone Medical Center during Hurricane Sandy, reinforce the importance of maintaining a high level of emergency preparedness and the fact that being prepared is everyone’s responsibility.
Learn more about your
role during a disaster.