This year has been full of weather related incidents; from hurricanes and floods, to earthquakes, tsunamis and wildfires….and the list goes on. Dealing with the devastation from events such as these requires a lot of planning and preparation. As an organization, we need to plan for these types of events, but also plan for managing a mass casualty, hazardous materials exposure, or power failures, to name a few. Life is filled with unexpected happenings, however we can plan and drill these potential scenarios to improve our readiness.

Earlier this week, we had a community-wide drill as part of our emergency preparedness planning. Our full-scale drill included the fire department, police department, regional emergency preparedness coordinator (Ray Huftalin), Cheri Collins (MMC-NI), Mitchell County Public Health, Emily Dunbar from Cerro Gordo Public Health and many Mitchell County Regional Health Center team members. The drill scenario focused on a fire on the Medical/Surgical unit resulting in an evacuation of "fake" patients.

We had an outstanding group and the drill went really well. We also gained new learnings and opportunities for improvement moving forward. We will be taking the information from the debriefing and put some of those improvements into action. Learnings consisted of how we secure our campus in an emergency, evacuating patients closest to the fire first, transferring and transporting patients, use of military time, communicating to internal staff and revisions to managing overhead pages as well as revisions to the Incident Command structure. We hope as community members, you feel Mitchell County Regional Health Center is doing everything possible to be your trusted healthcare for life.