PORTSMOUTH — With this week’s return of winter weather provided an opportunity for Kings Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) Ohio in Portsmouth to implement planned mock disaster drill on Friday. The event is planned to emphasize how KDMC operations would engage in triage and care for multiple patients in their urgent care facility in a short period of time.
The KDMC Ohio Emergency Command Center activated to support their Urgent Care operations with medical resources and staff as well as track patient care and family interactions for those who are brought in to the facility.
Several students from Shawnee State University who volunteered as mock victims are being set up for entry into the Urgent Care Facilities as if they were being transported by EMS from the accident scene. Mock victims wore tags outlining the extent of their injuries and appropriate care and processing evaluated as well.
Determination of how communications would be established between those working the emergency influx of patients and the command center and how requests for additional needs for caring for the patients would be conducted were also examined.
Josh Childers, Life Safety Officer, Security Supervisor at KDMC Ohio, said the Emergency Management Drills enhances their ability to be prepared for any and every medical emergency that is presented.
“We are doing what you call Emergency Management Drills for the hospital. It is what we are required to do, but not only that, but it is for us to be prepared for anything that comes through the door and to be able to assess whatever it is we need to work on,” Childers said. “We do this twice a year, sometimes more. It just depends on what the need is, and we tell our staff to make sure that they are prepared at all times. Once we do the after action report, and look at everything we can work on areas that need to identified, and then at the next drill we can identify those and work on them as well.”
Kim Carver, Director of Scioto County Emergency Management Agency, said the event was designed to overload staff for appropriate decision making.
“This scenario has been purposely created to have so many victims that the other care facilities in the area would be on diversion due to overload and transports rerouted to KDMC Ohio for treatment,” Carver said. “The event was planned to overload the community with accident victims to push limits on how best to handle rapid influx of injured patients from a large crash site. For the purpose of today’s exercise plan, two church buses overturn in the multi-car crash on the icy roadways. The event was designed to overload the facility to force training on making appropriate decisions for care when numerous patients present for treatment almost at the same time.”
Kevin Marshall, Chief Nursing Officer for KDMC Ohio, said empowers staff members, and helps KDMC Ohio to continue to improve.
“I believe that it is very important to do these drills because of the constant state of readiness that we need to be in as a health care provider,” Marshall said. “We never know what is going to come through the door, or what life may bring to us every day, so we try to keep our staff competent and up to date with the policies and procedures, as well as remind ourselves how to reevaluate the situation and look at things even from an outside perspective of what we may be missing. We are always looking to better ourselves throughout this process.”
Kim Grooms, Site Administrator of KDMC Ohio, said ensuring the appropriate triage and care is rendered to their patients is another benefit of the implementing the drills.
“We do value this drill and training. It helps to prepare our team so that in a real life event they will be prepared to be able to handle any influx of patients that would come in,” Grooms said. “From an emergency standpoint, make sure that the patients are triaged appropriately and provide the appropriate care for our community.”
Assistance with the drill was a collaborative effort of a host of other local medical and emergency departments. Angie Hodge of the Scioto and Lawrence County Health Care Coalition through the Ohio Department of Health; Debbie Elliott, Regional Liaison for hospitals from the Ohio Department of Health; Bill Raison, Chief of the Portsmouth Fire Department and Kim Carver, Scioto County Emergency Management Agency Director. Staffing for today’s drill also included management from KDMC at Ashland and Portsmouth.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.