Managing a large-scale crisis and patient surge

Only weeks after its LiveProcess implementation, Children’s Medical Center put the emergency management platform to the test during two storms — Hurricane Gustav was followed within days by Hurricane Ike, one of the top 10 most destructive hurricane to make landfall in the US.

“This is an area where LiveProcess gives the hospital the edge it needs to fulfill its mission to care for large numbers of patients at the drop of a hat. This is where LiveProcess really sings — in a large-scale crisis and subsequent patient surge,” said Rachel Hedstrom, communications staffer at Children’s Medical Center.

An alternative to 24/7 incident command center staffing

Just before Gustav hit, Children’s Medical Center decided to use LiveProcess for all of its hospital incident command communications. The hospital command center staff would use LiveProcess to communicate with each other, load documents and track the storm.

It was a leap of faith that paid off. When Ike hit and Dallas residents braced for the worst, Children’s Medical Center’s safety and emergency management personnel sprang into action while its medical transport teams coordinated with state emergency preparedness officials and neighboring hospitals.

Relative calm washed over the handful of personnel inside Children’s hospital command center, which coordinated supplies, patient transports and the expected surge into the hospital’s emergency room. Shuttered hospitals in Galveston and Houston forced a surge of patients. Over 16 hours, the Children’s Medical Center team transported 400 patients — including 50 newborns — out of harm’s way.

After Children’s started a LiveProcess event log, the hospital’s command center safety and liaison officers, working 24/7 in 12-hour shifts, would update the log from the hospital command center, so the rest of the command center staff could monitor the events remotely from the secure web-based application.

Regular meetings were held with all command center staff daily during the event, however, most of the command center staff only needed to report to the hospital command center after hours, and only if directed by the incident commander (IC).

Children’s Medical Center uses LiveProcess Emergency Manager for hospital emergency preparedness, pandemic preparedness, and more. Find out how and why in the case study.

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