ACHEMT was proud to present “The Healthcare Leaders Role in Preparing for the Unthinkable” in collaboration with the Middle TN chapter of the Organization of Nursing Executives (MT-ONE) on Feb. 1st at the Tennessee Hospital Association’s facility in Brentwood. Despite the weather, we had a record turn out of leaders from across middle Tennessee.
Our opening speaker was Dr. John Morris, Associate Chief of Staff for Vanderbilt Health Systems. Dr. Morris had a wealth of insights into how healthcare leaders could prepare for disaster management and mass casualty events. He addressed many areas of concern, including the importance of business continuity, avoiding disruption, supply chain concerns, and even how to get adequate staff to work, like utilizing Uber and Lyft. Dr. Morris also emphasized the importance of documentation in crisis management. He discussed cost, probability, implement solutions, and rationale documentation.
Our panel moderator, Chris Clarke, Senior VP of Clinical Services for the
Tennessee Center for Patient Safety, THA, lead a dynamic conversation.
Susan Peach, CEO of Sumner Regional shared an up close and personal recollection of the terrifying events that unfolded during an active shooter incident last Spring. She shared some surprising revelations as a result of that incident. We explored the free services, compliments of the local police department, available to all healthcare leaders, to evaluate their facilities for safety and points of vulnerability to increase security and safe guard against a future event.
Michael Wargo from HCA further contributed with his knowledge about best practices and policies regarding perimeter security. He brought a wealth of information about situational awareness and behavioral patterns to watch for when a potentially volatile situation may erupt. Scenarios surrounding active shooters as a result of domestic violence was also covered, as well as the importance of addressing the needs of family members during stressful events to reduce mass panic. A “sympathy and sandwich committee” is essential to communicate with the members of the community that will naturally want updates regarding anyone caught in the cross fire of a mass casualty, natural disaster, or active shooter situation.
John Benitz, MD, MPH, and the Medical Director of the Tennessee Department of Health for Emergency Preparedness, shared excellent resources for healthcare leaders in terms of financing a disaster plan. He revealed grant opportunities and healthcare coalitions to help pay for improvements for a safer work environment. He also guided us to the CDC for ultimate best practices for healthcare leaders during a disaster.
There is much to be learned from recent events, the 530 gun shot wounds in Las Vegas, the atrocities committed in Paris, among many others. We were fortunate to have the finest health care leaders and experts in the field of disaster management provide us with the tools and best practices necessary for safe guarding our local healthcare organizations and enterprises.