Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
The following is a text alternative description for the Patient Surge Strategies 2018 Lehigh Valley Health System video.
(Video begins with Ryan Hay seated in a chair in a nondescript room with the bottom of a logo just visible at the top of the screen on the wall behind the speaker. The logo is black and white and says “Lehigh Valley Health System” in the middle and “Emergency Operations” around the bottom. Ryan Hay is looking directly at the camera and the video continues this way the entire time)
Hello my name is Ryan Hay, and I'm the director of emergency preparedness here at Lehigh Valley Health Network. We've, year-over-year, used surge spaces such as tents and other areas in our facilities during influenza or during significant periods of large patient surge and patient volume.
A couple of things we found is really the biggest key to success and this is collaboration--working with our hospital medicine partners, our infectious disease partners--standing up that incident command structure early, even if you don't think you need the system set up immediately, but keeping a finger on that pulse and making sure that you're aware of what's going on and that everyone's kind of got good situational awareness and a good common operating picture so that when it comes time to set it up, everyone's aware of the risks associated with it, everyone's aware of the things that need to be done in a timely effort to get it established.
This really results in a system that's set up for good patient safety, good patient care; it gets patients seen very quickly, it gets them kind of out, and about it really decompresses our emergency department in these critical surge periods.
Unfortunately, we've had to use it about three times in the last ten years or so, and fortunately for us we use it for planned events and event medical deployments throughout the year so the staff's keenly aware of how to operate in these environments. They've used the systems, they've used the kind of austere medical equipment that we sometimes have to implement or some of the different protocols or processes so when we actually have to implement it for real during a surge period, it's kind of second nature to them. Having that kind of annual exercising of it in the semi real world event during a planned event and having that collaboration is really key.
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