On December 25th, 2020, our Medxcel campus in Nashville faced an emergency situation with the bombing in nearby downtown. Amidst medical emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic and the seasonal flu, our facilities still must be prepared for the unexpected emergency. Unlike the weather, dire situations like this cannot be forecast, so it’s vital to always be ready to act.
In Nashville, our local command center was notified immediately of the explosion, and our teams began preparing to treat potential victims and enable security precautions. The biggest concern with this emergency was that the explosion caused structural damage to a nearby AT&T service facility, affecting 911 call centers. Finding another way to communicate became imperative, and thankfully our teams were able to redirect calls through Texas and restore these services. Incorrect information can spread like wildfire during a disaster, and our associates worked to fact-check and provide accurate information to the public. By taking a community approach, our Nashville team was able to successfully secure the campus and focus on caring for patients and repairing communication infrastructure.
Preparing for every potential emergency situation is crucial to the safety of patients, visitors and staff. Medxcel has 161 facilities across the country and ensures each facility and every staff member, from the local site manager to our Vice President of Emergency Management, Environment of Care and Safety Scott Cormier, understands the importance of a tried and tested emergency management plan.
Let the experts lead.
Understanding the importance of and following established emergency plans is necessary for maintaining calm during a crisis. First and foremost, though, that plan must have a team of experts championing the process, continuously improving it, and unflappably guiding the facility during the emergency itself.
These experts should hail from a variety of fields: engineering, emergency management, operations, technology, construction, facilities management, more. This ensures every area of a facility is represented in established plans, and that during the crisis there is a point-person to interpret new information and guide their teams. In Nashville, it was as important that the facility was prepared to find alternate communications solutions as it was to provide emergency care to potential victims.
A team made of diverse disciplines can collaborate and create solutions for what facilities need to do to adjust processes and programs to ensure safety. This team must be maintained outside of emergencies, too, to further update, finesse and improve existing plans.
Let the communicators communicate.
Just as there needs to be experts creating and executing the emergency plan, there must also be experts communicating that plan to others, especially during an emergency. This skill is not usually part of a clinician practice, so it’s important to have excellent communicators who are able to distill information when people may be panicked.
This team should prepare guidance and communication, serve as a source point of information, and liaise with their peers to distribute messaging. They will help reduce miscommunications by guiding through single sources and will not hold up communications by being debated internally.
Prepare for anything.
Emergency situations can be entirely unpredictable. A tornado or hurricane can be tracked to some extent, but the storm could shift at any moment to affect thousands of people. Emergencies occur inside facilities, too, from active shooters to gas leaks, and even bombings.
We won’t know what the next crisis will be or when it will occur. That is why a strong emergency management plan is vital year-round. Ensure it is maintained and updated by a team of experts, that it is communicated well to everyone affected, and that your facility is prepared for whatever the emergency may be. You can’t plan for everything, but you can be prepared for anything.
Want to learn more about Medxcel’s emergency management services? Contact us at email@example.com