Automation is the key to surviving large-scale emergencies
February 10, 2014 in Medical Technology
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to be emotionally prepared for a tragic event such as the July 2012 mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. But it’s entirely possible to have a disaster plan that makes the most of health IT resources in the care and treatment of those injured when calamity strikes.
Paige Patterson, RN, is manager of the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), where some 22 of the 70 surviving shooting victims were brought for treatment. Ms. Patterson will share how HIT played a key role in UCH’s award-winning response in her talk in education session 69, “The Role of Hospital Automation in Mass Casualty Events,” from 8:30 to 9:30 am, February 25 in room 311A of the Orange County Convention Center.
“The most important piece is that you have a hospital that is prepared,” Patterson said. “We ran drills regularly and were also part of citywide and statewide drills, and that helped us as an institution to be confident that we were prepared as best we could be for the unknown.”
Patterson will share key points in disaster preparedness, including: identify the latest procedures for dealing with a no-notice, mass-casualty event, applications of technology to manage massive numbers of casualties delivered to an ED, preparation methods used to provide care to the bulk of the Aurora shooting victims.
According to Patterson UCH’s response was built on a decade of planning, peaking in 2008 as part of city preparations for security around the Democratic National Convention in Denver. “As far as IT software is concerned, it’s a matter of how to best utilize what you have,” Patterson said. “I’ll go into how we tracked patients upon admission, how they were treated, when they were released, who stayed and how long, and we even tracked them for follow-up visits.”