Columbus, OH,
16:11 PM

OhioHealth Team Prepares for a Variety of Situations

Emergency Clinical Resource Team Runs Practice Drills

MERS Drill

OhioHealth is committed to keeping patients, visitors, physicians, associates and volunteers safe. That’s why, periodically, hospitals and teams run drills portraying various situations that aren’t seen every day – mass casualties or communicable diseases, for example – in order to make sure teams are prepared to handle any situation.

“We need to be able to make sure that we have the people – our caregivers – who are able to respond in the most effective way,” said David Rutherford, RN, MSN, CCRN, OhioHealth Emergency Clinical Resource Team (ECRT) lead.

Recently, the ECRT – ran a drill simulating a patient presenting with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a potentially deadly, viral, respiratory illness that can be spread through a cough.

“Back in 2014 we went through Ebola and an infectious disease in one country can be in our country in 24 hours and we need to be prepared,” said Brian Saul, OhioHealth senior advisory of safety and emergency management.

The goal of this drill was to see if the team can identify MERS and then follow appropriate steps to care for the patient safely.

“We’re testing the process for the staff to be able to identify that this patient is at risk for having that communicable disease and then isolate the patient and then our processes at OhioHealth for moving the patient through the system to get to the appropriate level of care with employee protection in mind all through the process,” said Saul.

These drills, which happen quarterly, are a true team effort.

“We have all of our safety folks, infection prevention, our physicians, our executives – they’re all on board to make sure that OhioHealth is as safe as possible in the event that something will happen. We know that it’s not if, but when,” said Rutherford.