When Disaster Strikes, Parkway Is ReadyMay 6, 2011
Emergency Preparedness is Key.
When Disaster Strikes, Hospitals are Ready.
Hospitals have to be prepared for any emergency – from fires to floods, tornados to blizzards. And during these past few months, a number of hospitals in the Capella Healthcare family have had the unfortunate “opportunity” to get to test their emergency preparedness plans. Not only did they show just how ready they were to serve during the most trying of times, but how willing they are to go the extra mile to help others.
Morgan County, AL
In Alabama, the communities served by Parkway and Hartselle medical centers were especially hard hit. With the Tennessee Valley Authority losing all power transmission lines in Alabama and Mississippi, it was expected to take weeks to restore power fully to all areas. In fact, Parkway was initially given a 5-7 day timeline to operator on generator power alone, but ended up having full power restored after just 24 hours.
Parkway implemented their disaster plan prior to the storms, and patients, family members and staff were evacuated each time a tornado warning was issued. When staff learned there had been significant injuries, they called a Code Orange for an internal disaster. Although the ER staff treated 59 storm victims in the midst of the storm, everything went smoothly and the staff was also able to assist other impacted hospitals by performing outpatient procedures. Additionally, the Plant Operations staff set up a mobile charging station throughout the building for patients and visitors.
Twenty-eight of their emergency patients had to be admitted for additional care.
Sister hospital Hartselle Medical Center operated on emergency power for 42 hours, also treating a number of victims. Nine sought care in the ER and 3 of those were admitted. The hospital also provided a place for patients to use their home nebulizers, obtain oxygen, keep medications cool with ice, and to charge their cell phones so they could communicate with family and friends.
“I am very appreciative of the action of so many employees at our two hospitals who took care of many storm victims, offered comfort to family members and supported each other throughout the hospital,” said CEO Tim McGill. “Additionally we had over 10 physicians respond to our ‘Code Orange’ to triage, treat, and operate on patients the evening of April 27th and morning of April 28th. It was a true team effort in the midst of some very difficult circumstances.”