Healthcare Coalition - Region 2 exercise

No-notice functional emergency preparedness exercise

By Wayne McFarlin, emergency preparedness administrator

Sometime in June, the Healthcare Coalition - Region 2 will conduct a no-notice functional exercise testing elements of patient evacuation plans. The exercise, administered by the Oregon Health Authority, will involve all hospitals in Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties, as well as many EMS agencies, public health and city/county emergency management offices in the region.

The exercise scenario is an earthquake in Salem that has rendered Building B unusable for patient care. When the exercise begins, Salem Hospital’s incident command team will be activated to work with other Region 2 hospitals in determining destination locations for all patients in Building B at the time of the exercise. The exercise will end when patient evacuation destinations have been identified and the means to move the patients to those destinations has been determined.

  • No patients will be involved in this functional exercise.
  • The federally established exercise objective is to test the region's ability to transfer 20% of its bed capacity to other hospitals within the region. Building B’s patient population represents this percentage.
  • Incident command involvement in this exercise will be about two hours. There will be minimal involvement of inpatient units in Building B that will be communicated to unit leadership by the end of May.
  • Incident Command leaders prepared for this exercise in their quarterly training sessions. The exercise will build upon unit-level patient evacuation plan development, training and drills Salem Hospital has conducted over the past nine months.
  • In May 2018, HCC - Region 2 conducted a tabletop exercise of this scenario. June’s functional exercise will incorporate changes made to evacuation plans from lessons learned last year.

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