Quality & Patient Safety

Mass evacuations: Using TRAIN matrix to triage patients

Patient Safety Monitor, February 1, 2019

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BY BRIAN T. WARD (BWARD@HCPRO.COM) AND A.J. PLUNKETT (APLUNKETT@DECISIONHEALTH.COM)

You can modify the Triage by Resource Allocation for IN-patient (TRAIN) matrix to suit your facility’s needs in case of a mass evacuation. Hospitals across California and other areas, including the Sharp HealthCare system in San Diego, have modified the matrix for use as part of their all-hazards preparation for emergencies, including wildfires.

Sharp HealthCare has been working with other community organizations as part of a healthcare coalition in the San Diego area to improve communication during emergencies like wildfires, which can necessitate quick evacuations.

Sharon Carlson, RN, director of emergency preparedness at Sharp HealthCare, has been working on a committee that is reviewing how evacuations are carried out in the community. She and others are using lessons learned during a massive fire in 2007 that forced several hospitals, nursing homes, and behavioral health hospitals in San Diego County to evacuate, as well as the Cedar Fire in 2003—and, of course, the devastating Camp Fire of last year.

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