In The News

‘Med Sleds’ increase Methuen police efficiency in rescues

METHUEN — The Police Department recently purchased and trained on a new type of medical rescue sled that will help first responders rescue injured people in emergency situations more quickly and efficiently.

Med Sled tactical rescue sleds are mainly designed for use in active shooter or mass casualty situations, to quickly evacuate the injured without risking more officers’ lives than necessary, police Chief Joseph Solomon said.

The sleds reduce the number of officers involved in a rescue by allowing an officer to simply drag the injured person on board the sled to safety, instead of several officers going into a dangerous situation to carry someone out.

But the sleds have uses outside of active shooter situations, ranging from rescuing someone from a collapsed building during a fire to aiding someone who is injured in an area of rugged terrain, like in the woods, where carrying someone would be difficult, Solomon said.

“I think the real important thing is it reduces risk and it saves lives,” the chief said.

Med Sleds were developed by ARC Products in response to a growing need for a cost effective and efficient transport system for evacuating non-ambulatory patients — those who cannot move themselves — in emergency situations. The sleds are designed to allow first responders to quickly secure patients and evacuate them in a way that’s safer and faster than other devices, according to a press release from the Police Department.

The department recently purchased 10 of the rescue sleds, which are six inches shorter in width than the standard Med Sled, allowing for easier deployment and rapid evacuation, the press release said. Each sled costs $245, the department said.

Mayor Stephen Zanni praised the Police Department for having the most up-to-date tools to allow officers to do their jobs “efficiently and effectively.”

“These new sleds will allow them to improve their ability to rescue patients that may be unable to walk or move,” Zanni said.

Solomon said his department came across the rescue sleds while doing research about how to rapidly transport injured people in a crisis situation. Police were able to test the rescue sleds at a conference and then purchased them, including one specifically for the marine unit that replaces an older metal rescue sled with flotation devices attached to it.

Officers trained on how to use the rescue sleds throughout March, learning to work as a team to load patients safely onto sleds and remove them from a situation while also protecting themselves.

“We want our officers to be prepared to respond to any kind of emergency, and this training provided them with the skills and resources they need to easily transport non-ambulatory victims,” Solomon said.

Depending on a person’s injury, the sled can be either thrown to a person so they can strap themselves into it, or officers can take the sled to a person, strap them in and pull them to safety. The sled’s design allows injured people to use their hands during a rescue, if needed.

Using a sled also reduces the number of officers that need to be involved in a rescue. For instance, without the sled, five officers could be needed to rescue someone in an emergency situation — four officers to carry the injured person and a fifth to cover them for protection. Since fewer officers are needed to work the sled, using that equipment could reduce the number of officers needed in that situation to only two or three, Solomon said.

“It’s reducing the amount of officers who have to be exposed if you have to go get (a person) because they’re injured so badly,” he said, adding something that is key in dangerous situations like those involving an active shooter.

During the rescue sled training, officers also reviewed tourniquets and QuikClot, a substance that helps clot arterial bleeds in areas of the body a tourniquet cannot be used, the chief said.

The rescue sleds will be placed in all primary patrol SUVs and will be available to all patrol officers on the street in the event of a mass casualty situation.

“While we hope we won’t have to use these new sleds very often, our officers will be equipped to save more lives with this new training,” Solomon said.

Student With Mobile Disability Implements Sustainable Evacuation Plan at San Diego Area High School

Lilly Grossman, student with rare genome mutation, establishes new safety protocols at school

SAN DIEGO – Lilly Grossman spearheaded and facilitated a sustainable school evacuation plan at La Jolla High School in San Diego using Med Sled® evacuation sleds, requiring students and staff to take training classes as part of their physical education curriculum. Lilly, a high school senior, uses a wheelchair due to a rare genome mutation that went undiagnosed for most of her life, and earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for implementing this project and also published two fictional books about her experiences living with a disability.

“During my sophomore year of high school, I discovered that my school didn’t have a safety plan that incorporated physically disabled students, nor a way to get them off the second floor in an emergency,” said Lilly in a recent essay. “By making this issue my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I helped make my school safer for all its occupants.”

After learning about the administration’s lack of a thorough safety plan, Lilly initiated the process of updating the plan and providing a way to evacuate all students from the second floor during an emergency. To gain support for the project, Lilly worked with the San Diego School District’s accessibility office and the 504 Committee, which oversees accessibility rights for students. Due to Lilly’s efforts, the district chose to purchase Med Sled® evacuation sleds to help evacuate students from the second floor, but Lilly found that no students or faculty were trained to use the devices during an actual emergency. Her solution: provide training in gym classes for the Med Sleds® and ensure their use during every evacuation drill at the school.

Lilly also organized an event called “Day in a Chair” after being referred to the sponsoring organization by a friend. During the event, students at La Jolla High School volunteered to experience being in a wheelchair for an entire day. To be eligible to participate, students first had to be trained to use Med Sleds®. The student body responded positively to the event, and the administration is considering making “Day in a Chair” a yearly event.

“I support the program. The plan is to incorporate training on the use of the sleds into our program each school year and during safety meetings with the staff,” said Chuck Podhorsky, Principal of La Jolla High School. “We will have signage up to indicate the location of each sled, and the sleds will be incorporated into evacuation drills when necessary.”

About Lilly Grossman

Lilly Grossman is a published author and honors student who has struggled for most of her life with an undiagnosed illness causing muscle weakness, tremors and severe sleep deprivation. After undergoing a genome sequencing procedure, Lilly was found to have mutations in two specific genes, ADCY5 and DOCK3. Lilly is a passionate advocate for genome sequencing as well as universal accessibility standards for individuals with disabilities. Lilly has earned a Girl Scout Gold Award for implementing a sustainable evacuation plan at her high school and also published two fictional books about her experiences living with a disability. For more information, email ggrossman@san.rr.com.

Read more about Lilly’s courageous journey by clicking on the links below. 

“‘We Gained Hope.’ The Story of Lilly Grossman’s Genome” (National Geographic)

“The search for what’s wrong with Lilly” (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

“Family hopes genome test will help cure girl’s mystery disease” (Los Angeles Times)

La Jolla teen honored at White House film fest” (La Jolla Light)

“Three La Jollans earn Girl Scout Gold Awards” (La Jolla Light)

Emergency Drinking Water – Just Say No to Bottled Water

 

Does your storage area look like this?

Does your storage area look like this?

Healthcare facilities require a substantial amount of clean water to operate. With more than 280,000 water disruptions annually, accessible drinking water is a major concern for most healthcare facilities. To date, most facilities have assumed that the only solution was bottled water, which is expensive, takes up critical space and does not address other critical water needs.

The issue of emergency water is twofold. The first issue is providing drinking water to your patients and staff. The second issue, which does not get nearly as much attention during these water disruptions, is sustaining other critical operations that require pressurized water, such as ice machines, sterilization and food services.

What if there was a cost-effective and efficient solution that addressed both of these issues and also satisfied state and The Joint Commission drinking water requirements while saving your hospital time, money and precious inventory space?

Replace pallets of water with the FW-120. Dimensions:22 x 18 x 10 in, Weight: 55 lbs

Replace pallets of water with the FW-120. Dimensions:22 x 18 x 10 in, Weight: 55 lbs

Med Sled® has partnered with First Water®, the #1 provider of mobile water purification systems in the healthcare segment, to develop an Emergency Drinking Water Program that can replace the ineffective and outdated reliance on bottled water. This program has the following benefits:

  1. Provides a great ROI. When considering the cost of the water, management time, cost of storage space and the size of your facility, you will pay for the permanent system in less than 2 years
  2. Enables facilities to produce drinking water on demand for patients and staff
  3. Satisfies The Joint Commission and state requirements
  4. Eliminates the need for pallets of bottled water
  5. Eliminates the annual operating cost of purchasing bottled water
  6. Scalable to address your pressurized water needs such as ice, food services and more

Med Sled®’s Emergency Drinking Water Program provides a cost-effective, quality solution that addresses all of your drinking water requirements. Let us save you money and time. Contact your Med Sled® Regional Sales Manager for a cost analysis and Return on Investment summary based on your facility’s needs.

“When I looked at the devastation of the tsunamis and the situation after Hurricane Katrina, I realized that the time delay in getting bottled water is extreme. Stockpiling water is simply not feasible. If you are vulnerable to geological or water events, I recommend the solutions from First Water.”

Will Ewing – Fire Chief & City Emergency Manager,Toledo, OR

Comprehensive Planning for Emergency Evacuation of Healthcare Facilities

This article originally appeared in Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare

By Joe Pandolfo, President, ARC Products

St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri (part of Mercy Health System), was destroyed by a tornado on May 22, 2011. Mercy Hospital Joplin has been providing services to patients and the community in modular facilities built since the tornado and will open a new 600,000 square-foot facility in 2015.

Emergency evacuation preparedness is on every health facility manager’s priority list. If patients are not provided with safe and realistic means of evacuation in the event of an emergency, how can an organization claim it provides quality care at the facility? While evacuation planning takes time and effort, it offers return on investment in terms of increased patient safety and better risk management.

Many facets of healthcare evacuation planning often go overlooked, which is seldom apparent until the moment of crisis. Thoroughly preparing a facility and staff for a real-world emergency evacuation will ensure the proper care and protection of all patients and ultimately the hospital’s post-event recovery.
Developing an emergency evacuation plan will help ensure patient safety during an emergency and, just as important, increase buy-in from the staff and management. The following is a to-do list for developing an evacuation plan.

Establish a team.

The first step in evacuation planning is to establish a group of key decision makers who can provide a broad perspective on facility operations including risk management, security/safety, nursing operations (adult and pediatric representation), facility management, and the emergency department. Each member of this team should share responsibility for ensuring the facility is prepared to evacuate in the event of an emergency. The right team will deliver a thorough, in-depth plan grounded on what will actually be required for a facility to become evacuation ready. This established team is the most important factor in developing a quality plan and will ultimately determine the success of the plan’s implementation and system-wide buy-in.

Determine vulnerabilities.

Determining the vulnerabilities of a facility may seem relatively basic and simple on the surface, but in reality it is not. The list of natural and man-made disasters is long and can vary widely depending on the builidng’s location, type, age, and condition as well as the surrounding climate. During this stage, the worst-case scenario must be considered for each type of vulnerability.

Natural disasters are typically well documented, so there are many resources available to determine those that pertain to your geographic area. One of the critical mistakes made in this step is underestimating the risks associated with the geographical natural disaster. The team cannot simply dismiss certain risks based on probabilities and weather history. For example, nearly one-fourth of all large tornadoes occur in the south-central United States, yet many of the most high-fatality tornadoes to occur in recent years have struck other parts of the country such as the southeastern United States, where tornadoes are rare (The New York Times, 2011a). In fact, out of the 20 states that experience tornadoes most often, five are in the southeast (FEMA, 2011). To best assess these vulnerabilities, the team must stay informed of factors that are likely to affect the region and plan for the worst-case scenario. Additional preparedness resources can be found via the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.ready.gov.

Determining a facility’s vulnerabilities to man-made disasters such as fires, terrorist attacks, and power outages is a much more difficult task due to the unpredictable nature of these events. For this reason, it is best to be very broad in planning for man-made disasters.

Assess evacuation needs.

In large-scale evacuation scenarios, having the right equipment in the right quantities deployed in the right locations is critical. Industry safety standards such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The Joint Commission standards, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101: Life Safety Code can provide basic guidelines for what is necessary but oftentimes cannot be used to assess the various needs of specific facilities. Industry standards typically overestimate the needs of a facility. Ordering too much equipment for a facility is a waste of money, but too little can put the staff and patients at risk. This assessment must take into account the specific, complex requirements of the facility as well as the emergency team’s assumptions of what would take place during an evacuation. There are four aspects of properly assessing your needs:

1. Quantity of Equipment
To assess equipment needs, the team must use facility-specific data including average daily census and patient non-ambulatory rates by unit, facility floor, and layout (fire breaks, protocol evacuation exits, hall runs, etc.). These factors, along with evacuation protocols, will determine how much equipment will be needed to properly evacuate the facility. This process can be conducted by a manufacturer, but the assumptions used must be driven and owned by the emergency planning team.

2. Kind of Equipment Required
Once the team understands the quantity of evacuation equipment needed, it is time to determine the type of equipment needed. The average hospital has a very diverse staff, so it is important to know the needs of your patients and the capabilities of your staff to properly assess the best equipment for your facility. Emergency evacuation equipment falls into three categories:

Carry devices require the user to physically lift and carry the patient. These devices can create additional risks for staff members during an evacuation. Carry devices are typically used only by professionals such as fire fighters or first responders who have extensive training.

Wheeled devices consist of any device that uses wheels to make the movement of patients easier, such as stair chairs or wheelchairs. While more functional than a carry device, a wheeled device can easily become a carry device if debris is encountered. Wheeled devices also do not address the need for vertical evacuation.

Evacuation sled devices use the non-lift method and require significantly less strength to move non-ambulatory patients. Evacuation sleds allow staff members to safely move a patient two to three times their weight horizontally and vertically down stairs if necessary.

Based on this wide range of equipment to choose from, it is crucial to consider your staff capabilities and patient needs when assessing what type of equipment is best. For example, there is a major risk posed to patients in multi-level facilities as opposed to single-level facilities due to the complications of stairwell evacuations. Individuals with mobile disabilities or injuries will have increased difficulty transporting themselves out of a multi-level facility in the event of an emergency. The evacuation equipment selected can either simplify the evacuation process or add risk factors for staff members and patients.

3. Equipment Deployment Strategy

Caching evacuation equipment should be avoided; each unit must be self-sufficient in addressing the needs of its patients. In an evacuation, time is a critical asset that should not be wasted by waiting for evacuation equipment to be brought up from a storage closet in the basement. As a general rule, equipment must be deployed to each unit. Depending on the floor layout (exits, fire doors, etc.), equipment should never be stored in just one location, even on a given floor.

4. Manpower Requirements

A common shortfall in most plans is underestimating manpower needs to conduct evacuations. For this reason, it is critical to conduct a manpower assessment for each shift.

The primary factors in determining the manpower required to evacuate a facility are the number of non-ambulatory patients, how much evacuation equipment is on hand, number of floors in the building, and exits to be used during evacuation, or “protocol exits.” This is especially true if a protocol calls for a bucket brigade to be established in stairwells to move non-ambulatory patients down the stairs. Although proven to be a best practice, this requires changes to the number of evacuation stairwells due to manpower constraints. The number of protocol exits may need to be adjusted to decrease the manpower needs during those shifts where a smaller labor pool would be available (typically night shifts).  Fewer protocol exits mean fewer staff members are needed, but evacuation will take longer.

Last, an important fact to consider when assessing manpower needs is that the staff, not first responders, will most likely carry the primary responsibility for evacuating patients. When Super Storm Sandy hit New York City in late 2012, the staff of NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan had to evacuate patients as quickly as possible when the facility’s back-up generators failed. The occupants of the facility included ICU patients, women in labor, NICU infants, and bariatric patients. To efficiently evacuate this wide range of patients from the 18-story hospital, clinicians and staff members used non-lift devices with tethered braking systems to safely and quickly move non-ambulatory patients down stairwells. The lessons learned from this emergency evacuation are 1) healthcare facilities must be able to evacuate the sickest and most frail patients safely and quickly under all conditions, and 2) you must plan on using internal facility and staff rather than first responders.
It is recommended to partner with an equipment manufacturer when performing this level of assessment. Manufacturers are often knowledgeable enough to assist in this process. If an equipment manufacturer is unhelpful or not trustworthy enough to do an unbiased assessment, find a new manufacturer partner that can be trusted to fully support all your evacuation planning efforts.

Arrange for funding.

Most healthcare facilities have relied solely on federal grant funding for emergency preparedness efforts, but these budgets have decreased dramatically over the last few years. During this time, two recognizable trends have emerged. First, healthcare facilities that have developed quality, data-based plans and have worked with emergency planning coalitions to integrate their facility’s plans with area-wide plans have been more successful in securing grant funds. Second, healthcare facilities, especially larger complexes, have realized that grant funding alone will not be enough to get their facilities evacuation ready. By developing realistic plans that have multi-organization support and data-driven requirements, emergency planning teams have been successful in getting senior management to allocate operating expense funds and/or capital funds to provide for the evacuation plan requirements.

Purchase equipment.

When proper funding is secured, picking the best equipment for a facility should be easy.  By this point in the process, the emergency planning team should be familiar with what is required of the evacuation equipment. Before making a decision, a side-by-side test should be conducted on all viable options, even if the team has previously worked with a specific manufacturer.

A key to success when comparing equipment is to ensure the scenario used for side-by-side testing matches the worst-case evacuation scenario. Too often healthcare emergency planning teams leave the “demo” up to the manufacturer, allowing inconsistencies and differences in capabilities between devices to be overlooked as manufacturers present their device in ways that highlight its strengths and obscure its weaknesses.

Last, pursue a partnership with an equipment manufacturer who will be there before and during the sale, as well as after implementation. This partner should invest time and resources to assist in making the facility evacuation ready. The manufacturer should share the same commitment and passion to evacuation safety as your emergency preparedness team, effectively becoming another member of the team. These partnerships provide the facility with valuable resources by sharing best practices and providing insight on the use, implementation, and deployment of equipment.

Deploy equipment.

Deploying equipment strategically throughout the facility based on the type of equipment and the specific needs of each unit of the facility is critical. The type of equipment that should be stocked in a particular area can vary widely depending on patient needs, from the smallest NICU baby to the largest bariatric patient, from the basic acute care patient to the sickest ICU patient, and everyone in between.
With a large percentage of overweight patients, it is recommended to stock equipment designed specifically for bariatric patients. Typically, it is recommended to have 20% of adult evacuation equipment dedicated to address the needs of bariatric patients. This number could increase when dealing with specific units of a facility.

Give your staff the support and training it needs.

When planning for a large-scale hospital evacuation, the staff is an invaluable resource that must be used wisely. Understanding the staff and their capabilities is essential to any evacuation plan and plays a critical role in the hospital evacuation process. These individuals will perform on a much higher level during an emergency if properly trained and equipped.

Staff training is a critical aspect of emergency planning for any healthcare facility. Key staff members should be thoroughly trained in every aspect of the evacuation plan to adequately prepare them for whatever type of disaster may strike. These areas include general emergency education, equipment training, reviewing emergency plans, assigning specific roles during an emergency, and familiarizing staff with patient needs.

While providing staff members with evacuation training is important, it is also costly in terms of valuable employee time. For this reason, select equipment that is intuitive and easy to use in order to minimize the time required for an employee to understand its basic operation. An added benefit of intuitive equipment is that an unfamiliar staff member or patient could use it during an evacuation if needed.

In addition to intuitive equipment, staff members should receive training on a regular basis rather than one-time sessions. Manufacturers can often be relied on to provide “train the trainer” sessions and video-based training for employee use. Another common practice is to establish one staff member from each unit as a “super user” who can perform just-in-time training during an emergency if necessary.

Practice, practice, practice.

Protocols and plans taught to hospital staff members are only worthwhile if they are practiced on a regular basis. Research suggests that realistic drills have the ability to increase individuals’ knowledge and emergency response skills while lowering their negative trauma reactions during emergencies (National Association of School Psychologists, 2012). Emergency evacuations do not take place in a safe or convenient environment, so drills should simulate the most realistic situation possible; Play noise over the intercom, turn off the lights, do not use elevators, and include mock patients who are immobile.

It is very important for healthcare organizations to be self-reliant during these situations, as fire departments and first responders often don’t arrive in time for an evacuation. However, it is useful to partner with local emergency personnel, who will often help conduct the drills. This type of practice will truly prepare staff members for a real-world evacuation.

A lack of preparedness can lead to devastating consequences during an emergency evacuation. Practice drills counteract this risk by realistically running through evacuation procedures with the staff. The time and effort required to perform regular drills and training sessions is negligible compared to the effect of a disaster striking a building with unprepared staff members. There are two key benefits that effective drills provide: 1) building the team’s awareness and understanding of the plans and protocols and (2) identifying unrealistic assumptions and gaps in a plan. A post-drill assessment should be conducted to capture this information, which can be used to drive improvements to existing plans.

In summary, emergency evacuation preparedness is a crucial aspect of healthcare facility management. While evacuation planning takes time and effort, it is crucial in terms of patient safety and risk management. Following the steps outlined above will greatly increase your and your team’s ability to implement and prepare your facilities and staff for a real-world emergency evacuation. Ensuring your facilities are “Evacuation Ready” will guarantee the proper care and protection of each and every patient, guest, and staff member in your facilities.

REFERENCES

The American College of Healthcare Executives. (2012). American College of Healthcare Executives announces top issues confronting hospitals: 2012. Retrieved from http://www. ache.org/pubs/research/ceoissues.cfm

Associated Press. (2011, March 24). Hospital settles suit filed after deaths in hurricane. The New York Times, A21. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/us/24neworleans.html

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.(2012). The Affordable Care Act: Lowering Medicare costs by improving care. Retrieved from http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/acasavings-report-2012.pdf

The Federal Emergency Management Agency.(2011). Tornado risks and hazards in the southeastern United States. Retrieved from http://www.fema.gov/media-librarydata/20130726-1801-25045-0298/ra1_2011_tornado_risks_tagged_011912.pdf

The Joint Commission. (2013). Facts about hospital accreditation. Retrieved fromhttp://www.jointcommission.org/facts_about_hospital_accreditation/

National Association of School Psychologists. (2012). Promote PREPaRE in your district: Key messages. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nasponline.org/prepare/documents/PREPaRE_Key_Message_Handout_2012.pdf

National Fire Protection Agency. (2012). NFPA 101: Life safety code. Retrieved from http://www.nfpa.org/codes-andstandards/document-informationpages?mode=codeacode=101

NBC News. (2007, September 9). Katrina nursing home owners acquitted. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nbcnews.com/id/20649744s/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/katrina-nursing-home-owners-acquitted/#.U4ZpqvmzF8E

The New York Times. (2011). Map of tornado deaths in the U.S. from 1950 to 2011 – Interactive map. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/04/28/us/tornado-deaths.html

The United States Department of Justice. (2007). Chapter 7 addendum 1: Title II checklist: (Emergency management). Retrieved from http://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap7emergencymgmtadd1.pdf

Disaster Drills & Exercises for K-12 Facilities

In order to be fully prepared for an emergency situation such as a fire, natural disaster or security threat, educational facilities must have the proper equipment and drills to reinforce evacuation plans. The following are a few guidelines for planning and executing effective disaster drills and exercises:

Address all students’ needs, including those with disabilities.
If the needs of every individual in the facility are not addressed, an evacuation plan is not truly effective. Be sure to include students with disabilities in every drill. In addition to complying with ADA requirements, it is vital to address the needs of these students to provide a safe environment in the event of an emergency.

Purchase equipment that will support your plans.
Including students with disabilities in evacuation plans is pointless without having equipment that will make this task possible in a worst case scenario. The Med Sled®, a non-lift, slide device that addresses both vertical and horizontal evacuation needs, is the ideal solution for this type of evacuation.

Make your training and drills as realistic as possible.
Plans and equipment, while critical to an evacuation, are only as good as the training and drills conducted regularly. Evacuations do not happen in a perfect environment, so make them as real as possible by creating a chaotic environment similar to a disaster, and make sure to include your students and staff with disabilities. Create the environment that will truly prepare your staff and students for a real world evacuation.

National Safety Month Brings Reminders of Important Safety Practices

Every June, the National Safety Council encourages individuals to prioritize safety in their daily activities through the programming of National Safety Month. This year, the theme was “It Takes All of Us”, which was intended to remind organizations that each individual must be involved in order to make any real impact on overall safety.

With the recent launch of its Evacuation Kits, Med Sled® is also promoting the importance of individuals in emergency preparedness. The Evacuation Kits are specifically engineered to meet the needs of four key roles during evacuations, including Unit Captain, Staff, Staff Stairwell and Ambulatory Patient. Each Evacuation Kit is easily deployed and maintained and contains supplies designed to increase the speed and safety of an evacuation.

The Unit Captain Evacuation Kit is designed for someone who is responsible for coordinating all aspects of evacuating their unit or floor. It contains tools for communication, signage and indication, and direction of staff to necessary evacuation roles.

The Staff Evacuation Kit contains supplies for a healthcare provider or nurse responsible for identifying non-ambulatory patients, securing patients in Med Sled® devices, documenting patient needs and transporting patients to the nearest protocol stairwell exit.

For individuals responsible for movement of non-ambulatory patients both sending and receiving down stairwells, the Staff Stairwell Evacuation Kit provides all of the necessary supplies. The contents of this kit are intended to coincide with the specific training and precise communication needed to perform the role of safely evacuating non-ambulatory patients.

In addition to Staff Evacuation Kits, Med Sled® created the Ambulatory Patient Evacuation Kit for any patients, guests or staff who can safely and securely follow basic instructions from staff to evacuate themselves from the building with minimal assistance. These kits contain basic supplies for safely navigating a potentially hazardous environment during an evacuation.

The National Safety Council, through National Safety Month, often promotes the importance of thorough planning and preparedness. An excerpt from their official website states, “A successful safety program depends on spotting hazards early, evaluating their risk and removing or controlling them before harm is done. Consider ways to engage everyone in reducing risk in your workplaces. A little effort today has the potential to prevent tragedy tomorrow.” (Source: http://www.nsc.org/nsc_events/Nat_Safe_Month/Pages/home.aspx)

The Med Sled® Evacuation Kit is designed specifically to increase the preparedness of facilities and engage each individual in their role during an evacuation. Med Sled® is committed to continually helping facilities and organizations prepare for emergencies in the most effective ways possible with the goal of saving lives when it really counts.

Every U.S. News & World Report 2014-2015 Top Honor Roll Hospital Now Equipped with Med Sled®

Evacuation Device Supplier Congratulates all 18 Hospitals on List

ST. LOUIS, MO (July 23, 2014) – The Med Sled® emergency evacuation sled is the preferred emergency evacuation device in all 18 hospitals on U.S. News & World Report’s annual Hospital Honor Roll as well as eight of the top 10 Children’s Honor Roll hospitals. This marks the second year in a row that Med Sled® is the primary evacuation device in each of the top hospitals in the nation.

To create their annual list, U.S. News & World Report narrows down a selection of nearly 5,000 U.S. hospitals based on 16 different considerations for the most at-risk patients. These rankings are a product of a detailed inspection of each hospital’s healthcare performance in the categories of structure, process and outcomes. Only 18 hospitals in the country made the 2014-2015 Honor Roll list, which incorporates safety culture as a key component of a successful hospital.

“We’re incredibly proud to work with with all of our partners including these award-winning healthcare providers,” said Clifford Adkins, CEO of Med Sled®. “We would like to offer our congratulations to each hospital on the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll list. It is our privilege to help save lives by providing equipment that meets the standards of these world-class organizations.”

University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA was a first-time addition to the list, scoring very high in the area of patient safety. The hospital is nationally ranked in 13 adult specialties out of a possible 16, being one of only 144 hospitals in the nation that were ranked in even one category.

“The first appearance of University of Washington Medical Center on this list is a great accomplishment,” added Adkins. “We at Med Sled® are happy to work with such a prestigious hospital in their emergency evacuation planning efforts.”

There are over 52,000 Med Sled® evacuation devices currently in use in over 3,500 facilities nationwide, including the top 18 hospitals in the country. Med Sled® offers a full line of evacuation equipment that can move the smallest NICU patient (2.5lbs) to the largest bariatric patient (800+lbs).  Med Sled® representatives work with hospitals, nursing homes, schools and businesses to assist in their emergency evacuation planning, including conducting Equipment Needs Assessments, evacuation protocol review, employee training and drill support.

Nebraska’s Deadly Twin Tornadoes

Rescuers scoured the debris of leveled homes in northeast Nebraska early Tuesday for people trapped under the rubble after deadly twin twisters wreaked havoc on farming communities.http://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/nebraskas-deadly-twin-tornadoes-devastate-pilger-stanton-n132846

 

Hurricane evacuation tough call for state, residents and Charleston hospitals

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20140531/PC16/140539915/1177/hurricane-evacuation-tough-call-for-state-residents-and-charleston-hospitals

Hurricane hiatus: Will the USA’s luck run out this year?

With the Atlantic hurricane season starting June 1, the nation is enjoying two record streaks for a lack of hurricanes: It’s been nine years since the last hit from a “major” hurricane and also nine years since a hurricane of any sort hit Florida, traditionally the most hurricane-prone state in the nation. http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/05/14/hurricane-hiatus-usa-florida/9000343/