Are you Ready for a Megaquake?

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A Look at How The Pacific Northwest is Preparing

Recently, the Seattle Times featured a story on “The Big One,” a phrase being used to describe an almost certain Cascadia megaquake and tsunami on the West Coast, but more specifically in the Pacific Northwest Region. The article talks in depth about the plans and preparations being made to respond to such a large-scale catastrophe that could hit at any moment. It is comforting to know our state and local government agencies are allocating resources to respond effectively to a natural disaster that will affect almost every person in the region. Below are some highlights and specifics from the article and how the drill will play out with nearly 6,000 participants. Read More

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

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Locating a Missing Patient at Your Hospital

It’s a normal day at your hospital, when you hear there is a patient missing from their assigned room, what do you do? Any missing person is a red flag, but the risk is even higher when a patient is missing from their hospital room. They are at risk of harm to themselves, others, not receiving their medications, and worrying their families. Today we are going to give you some procedures which should be part of your missing patient protocols in your hospital or smaller healthcare facility. Read More

Don’t Miss Your Mark with Unrealistic Safety Goals

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Safety Goals Should be Challenging, Yet Realistic & Attainable

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Goals give us something to strive towards, which is often times motivating, helping us to meet goals and make new ones. Just like people, organizations need goals too, specifically safety goals. These goals need to be challenging for your organization, but they also need to be realistic. Having unrealistic goals will not only prevent you from meeting those goals, but it may also negatively affect some safety efforts that are already in place. Carefully crafting goals for your organization is essential to ongoing safety. Read More

The Missing Link: Cohesion

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Rapid Responder Provides Cohesion for Organizations

hand - ipad - squareMany organizations have all the right plans for responding to emergencies, by having written plans and doing tabletop drills to practice. From a preparedness standpoint they may be well prepared and have all their ducks in a row, waiting for a chance to put their plans in action. However, they still may be lacking a significant factor in responding efficiently and they may be lacking cohesion. Rapid Responder, an industry leading emergency preparedness platform, provides cohesiveness for those who implement it.
Cohesion with other staff for your organization is critical to handling an emergency or incident well. Rapid Responder allows for a cohesive response within your organization by bringing everyone together on the same page and laying out an easy to follow responsibility tree through ICS and a NIMS based model of response. Rapid Responder stores all of your emergency plans and response procedures, including digital imagery, in a simple and easy-to-navigate platform, available on the Internet, on a laptop, available on a USB, or iOS or Android App. It gives the same information to all parties accessing the information, lessening confusion during a response. Read More

Communication at Smaller Healthcare Facilities

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Hospital Emergency Door

Don’t Let Size Fool You, Risk is Everywhere

Just because you’re not in a multi-level hospital does not mean you don’t need effective communication between staff and patients. Effective communication may be even more important in a smaller healthcare setting because security personnel are not always available, and many times, paramedics are not on site. Below are a few ways that you may choose to communicate with staff and patients in a small healthcare setting such as, assisted living homes, clinics, or specialty offices. Read More

After Action Reviews

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After Action ReviewsPreparing Your Organization for the Next Incident

An After Action Review (AAR), is commonly used by the military and according to the Harvard Business Review is, “A method for extracting from one event or project and applying them to others.” For instance, if during your past fire drill, exit doors were not closed after everyone evacuated, you recognize that as a shortcoming and next time you have a fire drill, someone is in charge of securing those inner perimeter doors before evacuating themselves. You took an instance from one event and applied it to the next event. After Action Reviews are critical to the continuation of safety and security for any facility and enables organizations to continue striving toward a safer environment. Read More

More Visibility = More Awareness

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Keeping Your Options Open During Emergencies

Many times, we hear stories of an active shooter or armed intruder, we hear that victims heard chaos and looked for the nearest exit to escape but ended up in more danger. When attempting to escape, victims tend to run blindly, not really knowing where the incident is or the location of the shooter/intruder. Unfortunately since the focus is just on trying to get out, victims may actually be running toward danger due to lack of visibility and awareness of their surroundings prior to the incident. Keep reading to learn how visibility is directly linked to awareness and how these critical opportunities can help when in an emergency situation. Read More

Use of Force: Non-Lethal Defensive Tools (Part 3 of 3)

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pepper spray

How You Can Deter Violence with Non-Lethal Force at Your Hospital

A prisoner being treated at a hospital suddenly disarms the deputy guarding him, shooting and killing him with his own service weapon.  The prisoner, now armed and not wearing handcuffs, poses a lethal risk to anyone else in the hospital who might try to stop him.  Hospital security officers, armed with TASERs, respond to the scene and deploy a TASER to stop the threat and subdue the prisoner.  The TASER effectively subdues the man, who later is pronounced dead.

This is a nightmare scenario that actually unfolded at a hospital in St. Cloud Minnesota in 2015.  Had the hospital security officers not been armed with TASERs, other lives might have been lost that day.  While TASERs are not meant to be a response to deadly force incidents, the deployment of this non-lethal defensive tool in this case was effective, but also resulted in the death of the subject. Read More

Mitigating Continuous Risk: Mass Disaster

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Prepare Early for an Efficient Response

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Hospitals’ risk and concerns differ from most other facilities and accept many people in the event of a mass disaster in their community. Natural disasters, chemical releases, large car accidents and other situations like active shooters and terrorist attacks are all cause for concern, and are scenarios hospitals must prepare for.

Natural disasters and weather are out of our control, but they can carry serious risk not only to infrastructure, but also public health. When these scenarios arise, hospitals must be prepared to accept patients, possibly many that are injured from the disaster. Since the weather patterns and seasons are predictable to a degree, we can assume there may be injuries from hurricanes from June to November, but earthquakes can be harder to predict and injuries from these may be in the hundreds. This is when up-to-date training comes in. Up-to-date training means hospital staff are better prepared to treat and respond because they are trained on the latest protocols and have the information fresh in their mind, enabling them to cope and respond in a more efficient manner. Read More

Mitigating Continuous Risk at Your Hospital: Training

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Training is arguably the most critical component to mitigate risk at your hospital. Timely training reduces the amount of safety related incidents and creates a safer facility for not only patients, but staff as well. Whether it be a slip, trip or fall concern, or reducing illness for staff, training will help to mitigate most risks. Training is knowledge and knowledge is power, power over your safety and security concerns. Read More