After Fort Hood shootings, Twitter proves useful for one hospital

Emergency Management Alert, November 10, 2009

Thursday’s shootings at Fort Hood, TX, let one facility rev up its Twitter presence with useful updates and information, according to Mac's Safety Space, HCPro's blog on hospital safety. Scott & White Hospital in Temple, TX, received 10 shooting victims, and kept folks informed through its “SWHealthcare” Twitter account, including the following posts:

  • A phone number for concerned family members to call
  • The operating status of the hospital and its ER
  • Where volunteers could give blood donations (and wait times)
  • Links to further updates on the hospital’s Web site

In its August 2009 Environment of Care News, The Joint Commission pointed out that emergency management standard EM.02.02.01 requires hospitals to prepare for emergency communications with staff members, external authorities, patients, families, media, vendors, and other healthcare facilities.

Are you using social media as part of your emergency plan? Why or why not? Let us know by commenting on Mac's Safety Space, and for more updates, follow HospitalSafety on Twitter.

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