To prepare for the worst-case scenario, hospitals need an evacuation plan that ensures patients can be moved quickly and efficiently, with the infrastructure and equipment in place to minimize risk and suffering.
Evacuation of hospitals are thankfully rare, but nevertheless, sometimes situations occur that require a ward or entire hospital to be evacuated, including floods, fires, and utility failures.
Clear labeling of patients will assist with communication, reduce confusion, allow for effective tracking of patients and improve overall efficiency of an evacuation.
Evacuating any medical facility is a complex and difficult task and can often be seen as “too difficult to carry out effectively”. Understandably, when the size and complexity of a hospital is taken into account, and the different needs of patients and staff are considered, it can be incredibly difficult to know where to begin.
However, with a well-thought-out plan, supported with equipment and training such as our SMART Facility Evacuation system, you can conduct an evacuation to a high standard.
There are a number of critical questions every hospital evacuation plan should answer:
A hospital evacuation plan should encompass not only the needs of patients, but also the safety of staff, and the roles each are expected to play in a partial or full evacuation. A risk assessment should identify the vulnerabilities and needs of colleagues and accommodate various scenarios in which different actions are required.
Most hospital staff faced with a live evacuation will not have had to respond to a disaster before. Therefore, the right training and equipment should be put in place beforehand to enable a calm and professional response during the emergency, making use of familiar clinical assessment tools and procedures used on a day-to-day basis. People in disaster-response situations always perform more effectively when using familiar technology, terminology, and procedures.
Ongoing training in evacuation response and management is essential to deliver the best results if the worst happens, so whatever training is required, it should be simple to implement, relevant to the staff member’s specific role, and capable of being repeated on a regular basis.