Rutland Regional Medical Center, in coordination with local emergency responders, will launch a series of disaster preparedness drills beginning the last week of September to help hospital staff and local health and emergency management agencies prepare for a wide range of emergencies and disasters that could take place locally, statewide and nationally. The drills will test the preparedness and response of hospital staff and local agencies should a real disaster occur.
Ensuring that Rutland Regional is prepared to respond appropriately during any type of disaster situation is a priority for Rutland Regional. Disaster response drills are real-time tests of a facility’s readiness to respond to a sudden demand for services. Evaluation of the drills will focus on refining response plans for an actual disaster that might trigger a sudden influx of patients, media inquiries and concerned community members.
Beth Winter, Manager of Emergency Preparedness at Rutland Regional, cautions that these events are realistic exercises and the local community can expect to see hospital staff and emergency responders looking and acting as if it were a true disaster. Patients and visitors at Rutland Regional may also hear drill communication over the intercom systems and members of the community may hear police, fire, EMS, and other emergency response radio communication.
“Drills are a critical first-step in helping us evaluate our readiness and to find out what works and what doesn’t,” said Winter. “The knowledge we gain can help us make important changes to our response plans now — before a disaster strikes.”
Normal hospital operations and patient care will not be affected by the drills. Hospitals are required by the Joint Commission to have disaster response plans in place and conduct periodic drills for improvement and training purposes.
“The goal of this exercise is to enhance working relationships and collaboration between the agencies and organizations involved,” said Mary Nemeth, Vice President of Support Services. “These drills are mock exercises, but are a very real test of our ability to respond to an actual disaster.”
About Rutland Regional Medical Center
Established in 1896, Rutland Regional is the second largest health care facility in Vermont. With a strong patient focus, consistent quality performance, nursing excellence, and award-winning care, Rutland Regional remains dedicated to improving the health of families and individuals throughout Rutland County.
Recently recognized in US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals to receive common care, Rutland Regional was the first hospital in Vermont to receive both the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence and Magnet Recognition® for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovation. Rutland Regional has also been recognized by the Joint Commission as a Top Performer in Key Quality Measures, honored with an “A” grade by The Leapfrog Group in the Spring 2015 Hospital Safety Score and was named by Healthgrades among the top 10% in the Nation for Outstanding Patient Experience and Patient Safety, and is the recipient of the Healthgrades 2015 Outstanding Patient Experience Award and a 3-year recipient of the Patient Safety Excellence Award.