Medical Emergencies Series: Hotels
Reduce Risk & Negative Attention by Being Prepared
Tuesday we started our series by focusing on medical emergencies in schools, yesterday we focused on medical emergencies in places of worship, and today we will bring you tips on how to decrease risk of medical emergencies in your hotel. There are hundreds of rooms, a mass of guests, and only so many staff that are working at any given time. When you factor in the potential medical emergencies that could happen, heart attack, seizures, loss of consciousness, etc., the risk is significant. The good news though, is that there are precautions and procedures that you can put in place to decrease the severity of a medical emergency in your hotel.
If a medical emergency presents itself in your hotel and first responders are called in, chances are someone will notice. We know that hotels don’t want media attention, or to worry other guests, so plan for these instances before they occur. Invite your local first responders for a short meeting to pre-plan emergency routes that they can take to diminish the concern of other guests and to decrease the likelihood of negative media attention.
Does your staff know how to react? Some guests might call the front desk to inform them that 9-1-1 has been called, or guests might call the front desk and ask for them to call 9-1-1. Whatever the case might be, your hotel staff should be aware and well trained on the procedures for a medical emergency. A staff team, front desk, security, etc., should be responsible for meeting the first responders and directing them to the guest room, and giving them access, if required. If staff need to call 9-1-1 for the guest, they should keep the guest on one phone, while contacting 9-1-1 on another, acting as the middle man between the two.
Many times, when an emergency occurs, people rely on their training to get them through it. Train staff on these protocols and certify staff in CPR and First Aid. Some medical emergencies might not require medical attention, but others may require life-saving attention before help arrives. Have an AED or defibrillator in your hotel, and in a central location that is easily accessed in case it is needed before EMS arrives.
Unfortunately, hotels see many medical related emergencies and sometimes are unprepared for their extensive nature. By enacting precautions and procedures such as roles for staff, diminishing media attention, and training for a positive outcome, your hotel can be better equipped to handle medical emergencies.