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4/26/2014
08:35 AM
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Marathon Bombing Lessons: Boston Hospital Revamps Information Systems

Brigham & Women's emergency department leaders describe how they corrected system deficiencies revealed by the 2013 crisis.

After two bombs exploded, ambulances lined up to take the injured to local hospitals, including Brigham and Women's.(Source: Rebecca Hildreth/Flickr)
After two bombs exploded, ambulances lined up to take the injured to local hospitals, including Brigham and Women's.
(Source: Rebecca Hildreth/Flickr)

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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/28/2014 | 12:00:39 PM
Re: Thank goodness that the number of casualties were relatively low
As both doctors stressed, all hospitals around the country have events that typically attract large crowds of visitors -- a county fair, July 4, New Year's Eve, race day... -- and those scheduled events are days that hospitals can prepare to potentially encounter mass casualties. But it's the regular days turned tragic, like September 11, that really demonstrate just how well hospitals (among other facilities) handle emergencies.

That's why Brigham and Women's holds so many drills of such variety throughout the year. And it's one reason they really dug deeply into what worked well, what worked okay, and what created bottlenecks after the Boston Marathon bombings. Recognizing that all problems resided in information systems -- and knowing the best way to improve them was to incorporate systems they could use every day -- they moved fast so they'd be ready by the next potential scheduled mass casualty incident day, July 4. Thankfully, they didn't have to test their systems then. But testing and retesting and drills are something all hospitals do (and if they're not, they darn well better start).
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
4/27/2014 | 6:18:07 PM
Re: Thank goodness that the number of casualties were relatively low

Good question Gary... I think all the systems for these types of catastrophes that are in place today stem from that fateful day on 9/11. I like the way Brigham & Woman's is using IT to help in these situations. Sadly they will be needed again. It's not a question of if... it's a question of when.

Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
4/27/2014 | 4:24:39 PM
Thank goodness that the number of casualties were relatively low
The tragedy on that day was traumatic and undeniable. But, the sad truth is that could have been much, much worse. I wonder what kind of system for this sort of catastrophe they have in place in New York, given their horrific experience on that terrible day in 2001?
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