BAR HARBOR — Mount Desert Island Hospital completed its first Ebola preparedness drill Friday, Dec. 12. Since early fall, an interdisciplinary group of MDI Hospital team members has worked to include Ebola specific protocols to the hospital’s established Emergency Preparedness Plan.
That preparedness plan now includes successfully tested Ebola protocols designed to mitigate any potential scenario in which a patient who has traveled from an Ebola outbreak area presents with Ebola-like symptoms. “I am continuously impressed by the dedication, talent and compassion of our staff,” said President and CEO Art Blank. “Each and every staff member went above and beyond to ensure the success of this drill.”
During the drill, a mock patient presented to registration with a pretend travel history and pretend Ebola-like symptoms. This set the hospital’s emergency preparedness plan into action. Within minutes, incident command was activated, and the area was secured.
Emergency department staff reacted quickly, preparing a room for the patient, accumulating resources and staff, enacting mock patient diversion and following proper protocol for donning and doffing their personal protective equipment.
Incident command immediately engaged the Maine Center for Disease Control and the North Eastern Maine Regional Resource Center, securing their assistance and mobilizing back-up protective equipment and resources.
At the close of the drill, key team members assembled for a multidisciplinary debriefing to identify opportunities for improvement and further action planning.
Preparation and training opportunities prior to the drill were keys to its success. “As planning came together, our interdisciplinary emergency preparedness group felt it was time to run through a scenario and see how well the plans worked in action,” said Emergency Department Medical Director Chris Costello. “I am so very proud of the time, effort, enthusiasm and dedication of our staff.”