System-Wide Emergency Drill Succeeds with Team Effort

Hartford HealthCare became one of the first health systems in the nation to conduct a system-wide emergency management drill in September 2018.

In the scenario, tornadoes caused major damage in the Springfield area of Massachusetts, including power outages. More than 500 patients needed to be evacuated from Springfield-area hospitals to HHC hospitals in less than 24 hours.

Through the HHC system-wide Emergency Operations Center, the Care Logistics Center, local Incident Command Centers and other entity involvement, HHC was able to make room for the 500 patients in the drill.

Hartford Hospital’s Incident Management Team participated in the exercise by standing up an Emergency Operations Center. Lessons learned during the drill will help the system’s flagship hospital improve emergency response at all levels.

The exercise, organized by Director of HHC Emergency Management Patrick Turek, also revealed some areas for improvement, including more specific ways to communicate between local incident command centers and the HHC Emergency Operations Center, more widespread use of technology systems to communicate critical information and how to better integrate outpatient and non-acute locations into the process.