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Oklahoma healthcare network undertakes involved preparedness exercise

A disaster preparedness exercise in Oklahoma will feature mock victims with makeup to simulate wounds
A disaster preparedness exercise in Oklahoma will feature mock victims with makeup to simulate wounds

Factoring preparedness drills into a medical facility's continuity of operations plans is an excellent way to ensure that a hospital is prepared to provide the assistance and evacuation practices that will likely be required should an emergency situation present itself.

As such, according to an article published by Security Info Watch, the three hospitals of the Norman Regional Health System in Oklahoma – Moore Medical Center, Norman Regional and Healthplex – simulated a very realistic emergency response drill on April 25.

Spearheaded by The National Weather Service and funded by Homeland Security Grant and the Oklahoma Department of Health, the drill was called "Thunder Up" and will involve 200 mock victims who will be pretending to be in critical condition. In order to make the drill even more realistic, the fake victims will be decorated with graphic makeup to simulate varying degrees of wounds and injuries.

The article states that although the participating healthcare facilities in Oklahoma actually experienced emergency conditions after a bout of tornadoes earlier in April, having the additional practice will allow Norman Regional to work out its kinks in a controlled environment.

"Our hope for this drill would be to have all three incident command centers work efficiently together at the three hospitals and successfully track every patient, and have each patient receive proper care and treatment," Norman Regional's safety manager Shane Cohea told the news source.

While this exercise will position the healthcare network to better deal with an emergency should one occur, this kind of sophisticated practice requires time, energy and resources that other institutions may not be able to set aside.

In order to better understand how to plan such involved exercises within specific budget and personnel restriction, it would be wise for organizations to send representatives to attend the World Conference on Disaster Management in Toronto in late June for more information on best practices from experienced consultants.