Hospitals Turn to Virtual Training for Emergency Preparedness

December 1, 2010 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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In May 2009, an outbreak of swine flu was announced in Mexico and the United States. In the following months, massive landslides wiped away buildings in China and South America. And in January 2010, an earthquake leveled much of Haiti. Medical preparedness for such epic disasters is critical to treating casualties and minimizing deaths. In the United States, hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission are required to develop a management plan that ensures effective response to emergencies such as these. However, emergency drills and disaster preparedness training are costly exercises that can disrupt daily hospital operations. In addition, the use of static models such as dioramas to practice emergency protocols does not adequately simulate real-life scenarios, in which taking a wrong turn or running into a locked door can have disastrous consequences. This could explain the growing interest in virtual emergency response training. *

_______________ * This article has been adapted from the July 2010 issue of the ECRI Institute monthly newsletter Health Technology Trends. For more information on Health Technology Trends, e-mail clientservices@ecri.org or call (610) 825-6000! []( "Call: (610) 825-6000"), ext. 5891. ...

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