St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) conducted a series of Ebola drills throughout December at its four acute care locations. The emergency management teams at Albany Memorial, Samaritan, St. Mary’s, and St. Peter’s hospitals coordinated the drills at their respective locations.
The drills were designed to test each facility’s readiness and response to a mock patient presenting in the emergency department with symptoms that could be related to the Ebola virus. From point of initial contact through patient isolation, treatment, and care, each step of the process was addressed and reviewed.
The incident command center was activated in each instance, with staff in the emergency departments donning protective gear and preparing the patient for transport to a designated regional center for Ebola care. Signage was posted in each location to inform patients and visitors that a drill was currently in progress.
The drills are an important part of SPHP’s efforts to provide quality, compassionate care to the community when it is needed most. Running realistic, challenging drills with unique scenarios is critical to test SPHP’s readiness to provide care in any situation. Emergency management drills not only drive home readiness through repetition, but also are vital in building a toolbox for crisis decision-making.