The Future of Healthcare is a Nationally Coordinated Trauma Care Response
Healthcare is critical in our ever-changing world, and one thing is consistently clear: the ability to provide a fully coordinated trauma response is a gold standard for which hospitals and healthcare facilities strive to achieve. The horrific events of June 12, 2016, at the Pulse nightclub south of downtown Orlando, only served to highlight how crucial it is that trauma response teams be in a position to assert themselves immediately in an evolving mass-casualty event. It also provided insight into how important healthcare systems and safety and security solutions are to the public when coordinating the response to this type of event.Although little national attention was paid to it at the time, three months before the shooting at Pulse, Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) held its annual mass-casualty drill. This event included not just the personnel of ORMC, but teams from all 15 surrounding Central Florida area hospitals, as well as members of the F.B.I., local law enforcement, and every auxiliary team a world-class medical center uses: EMS, air-support, and local fire departments. The annual event was in addition to drills performed every three months on a smaller scale. And in the aftermath of the nightclub shooting, these coordinated trauma response preparations were lauded as lifesavers, which put personnel in the right position with the right knowledge and coordination when an actual event did occur. The team at ORMC acted with great heroism and courage in those dreadful days, and the medical center is now considered one of the finest in the nation in trauma response.
All of this was possible because the safety and security solutions and training by hospital staff prepared the hospital for this type of event. Trauma response is one of ORMC's priorities; their drills prove that every month and every year.
With the example of ORMC in mind, and other highly-lauded response efforts such as the work done by Boston-area hospitals in the wake of the 2013 marathon bombing, a push is being made to unite trauma care response at a nationwide level. An interdisciplinary committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report promoting a national trauma care system that incorporates every level of a response. By providing a certified national platform, led by the White House, the committee is setting a goal of zero casualties as a result of ineffectual disaster response.
To do this, people and technology will need to be integrated. Enhancing the safety and security solutions across healthcare organizations can assist in the response to mass casualty events and make the gold standard more achievable.
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