Safety

Heed some early lessons from hospitals hit by Ike

Hospital Safety Insider, September 17, 2008

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Hurricane Ike caused plenty of trouble for hospitals along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana over the weekend, though preparation steps have yielded useful advice for all of us. Consider these two anecdotes:
  • The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston has regularly updated its employees and the public about its status, which makes for interesting reading after the fact and may give other facilities pointers about what types of information to communicate during a catastrophe. A federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) arrived on Sunday to temporarily take over patient care for the hospital while it recovers its business operations. DMATs are rapid-response groups of professional healthcare workers and aides who provide medical care during a disaster as a way to supplement strained hospital services.
  • Texas Medical Center in Houston prepared for Ike’s landfall by shutting down elevators in its buildings and parking garages. The move was to avoid elevator dangers caused by power loss or high winds. The facility also worked with outside contractors to ensure construction site materials on the campus were secure.



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