Collaborative Effort with Public Safety Officials the First Known of its Kind in USA and Model for Private Practices with Ambulatory Surgical Centers
OA Centers for Orthopaedics completed a successful real-time surgery disaster simulation and patient evacuation this morning working at their outpatient orthopedic surgery center at Sewall Street in Portland, ME. The emergency drill was conducted in collaboration with local public safety officials including the Portland Fire Department, the South Portland Fire Department, the Regional Emergency Management Information System and Northeast Ambulance. Anesthesiologists from Spectrum Medical Group joined OA's surgery center staff to conduct what was the first simulation of its kind in Maine and perhaps the country. According to the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, OA is the first and only outpatient surgery center in the country to conduct this type of real-time simulation.
A total of 15 patients were evacuated during the drill, which lasted approximately 25 minutes. A simulated mechanical disaster occurred and emergency alarms sounded. Three patients undergoing surgery prepped and evacuated one-by-one and transported by rescue vehicle to Maine Medical Center. Patients in pre-op, induction and post op were also successfully evacuated. The drill lasted approximately 25 minutes from the point the alarms sounded and the last patient was safely transported.
According to Tim Nangle of the Portland Fire Department, in the event of a real emergency, ambulances would have arrived within 5 minutes and the entire evacuation process would have taken significantly less time.
The purpose of the training drill was to prepare OA's personnel for a real situation in which patient evacuations were required. OA used a formalized process established by FEMA as part of the National Incident Management System. OA’s incident command center featured clear terminology and an established, unified chain of communication in which life safety, perimeter control, and resource availability were assessed and tested. Months of preparation and collaboration with local safety officials contributed to a successful drill.
For more information, please contact Linda Ruterbories, Director Surgical Services and Program Development, OA Centers for Orthopaedics.