Mahaska Health Partnership to Conduct Emergency Preparedness Exercise Dec. 16

Mahaska Health Partnership

Mahaska Health Partnership

MAHASKA COUNTY – Mahaska Health Partnership will be conducting an emergency preparedness exercise on Monday, Dec. 16 to test the facilities’ response to an active shooter scenario.

According to MHP Director of Emergency Services Andrea Hagist, MHP staff recently received ALICE training to be better prepared for an emergent situation with an active shooter. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. This training gives participants insight and response options when encountering an active shooter.

“This exercise will provide staff an opportunity to assess organizational plans and procedures developed to respond to an active shooter,” Hagist said. “Unfortunately, this scenario can happen anywhere, at any time. Having an emergency response plan in a hospital, where saving lives is the main focus, is crucial for protecting our patients and visitors to the best of our ability.”

The incident on Dec. 16 is not real; however, MHP staff will respond as such. Therefore, the public is asked to be aware of this occurrence if an appointment or visit is scheduled during the afternoon of Dec.16.

“We realize that even the thought of an active shooter can be a very emotional topic,” Hagist explained. “To ensure everyone knows about the drill, we will make an announcement overhead. There will also be flyers posted prior to the event, informing our visitors of the drill. Patients will be receiving tent cards on their food trays informing them of the exercise, and staff will be assigned to help spread the word to our visitors coming into the hospital during our drill.”

MHP’s Emergency Preparedness Drill will last approximately 15 minutes, ending with police responding to the scene. MHP staff will meet afterwards to discuss and evaluate MHP processes during the drill, determining what went well and what could be done to improve our response.

Hagist said normal patient care will continue during the drill, and affected areas will work quickly to resume regular operating tasks after the exercise is complete.

“Because we are accredited by the Joint Commission, we are required to have at least two emergency exercises a year,” Hagist stated. “We plan for tornados, fires and other disasters, and our Emergency Response Planning Committee believes this drill is necessary to prepare for something that we hope will never happen.”

Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, visit www.mahaskahealth.org.

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