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Mass transfer of 200 patients in 13 East Texas counties... Hospital Drill set for Friday

Hospitals in 13 East Texas counties, including Freestone Medical Center in Fairfield, will come together Friday, April 28th to practice the mass movement of patients across the region including mass casualty patients. East Texas hospitals and coordinating agencies will be working together in a drill to practice the mass transfer of 200 patients.

This would be necessary when evacuating coastal hospitals and/or nursing homes before or after a hurricane, or if a hospital suffered damage during a weather event. The priority of the Texas hospital system is to maintain patient/staff safety at all times. Practicing how these mass movement systems will function is a priority among healthcare professionals in East Texas.

According to Stace Holland, CEO for Freestone Medical Center, each hospital will be working through what we call an exercise. This means they will be simulating the actual process of receiving the patients, assessing their condition, treatment plans and admitting the patient to their facility.

While hospitals and EMS agencies do this every day when 1 or 2 patients come in at a time, there is a different process that happens regionally when we are moving 200 patients at a time. The Medical Operations Center known regionally as the G-MOC will be set up in Tyler at the Regional Advisory Council office located at 100 E Ferguson St., Tyler, Texas . The function of this team is to manage at a regional level the flow of patients based on the number of patients who need to be moved and the current available patient beds at each hospital. This will be coordinated in Tyler by the Regional Advisory Council, Northeast Texas Public Heath (NETHealth) and representatives from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), hospitals, EMS agencies and the regional Disaster District Coordinator with real time data just as it would be in a disaster evacuation scenario.

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