Hospital Pandemic Flu Drill Slated for Tuesday, May 15
May 9, 2007
Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) and Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) will be participating in a Pandemic Flu Emergency Preparedness Exercise on May 15. Hospital officials stress that the impact of the drill on patient care will be of no consequence, although all hospital visitors can expect delays.
"Last year our Pandemic Response Team developed a comprehensive Pandemic Flu Plan establishing Franklin Memorial as the first hospital in Maine to do so," said Richard Batt, FCHN President. "Now it's time to test portions of the plan and see if it works."
The scenario will begin at 4:15 a.m. via a fax to the hospital's Emergency Department that states that there has been a confirmed presence of Pandemic Influenza in the state with two confirmed positive cases of H5N1 (bird flu). At the order of the Governor, all hospitals in the state are instructed to put into affect their Pandemic Influenza Plans.
"This will mean that all entrances will then be locked and secured for no admittance, except the main entrance to the hospital," said Randy Gauvin, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. "Everyone-employees, patients, students, medical staff, and visitors-will be directed to enter the building through the main entrance and will be triaged and screened before they can proceed
to their destination."
The primary goals of the drill are to:
- Test the network's new employee identification system (ID cards),
- Run through the facility's lock-down and limited access plan,
- Test the pandemic flu triage system, and
- Educate staff and the public.
Numerous Franklin Memorial Hospital departments, NorthStar EMS, and the Healthy Community Coalition, as well as numerous outside organizations including the Farmington Police Department, Franklin Emergency Management Agency, and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention are collaborating on the exercise.
"We would like to thank the community in advance for their understanding, should this exercise create an inconvenience for anyone," Batt stated.
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