Preparedness Helps VA Hospital Avoid COVID-19 Cases

November 17, 2020

Emergency preparedness is always a top priority for hospitals and nursing homes, and the practice of resilience is increasing in popularity as managers shift the focus from merely handling a crisis to surviving it and returning to normal operation quickly. For most organizations, putting an emergency plan into action, among other results, reveals the blind spots and missed opportunities.

Then there is the 500-acre campus of the Togus Veterans Affairs Maine Medical Center in Augusta. Medical center officials, like their peers around the country, implemented emergency plans when the COVID-19 outbreak began last string. Here’s the difference:

Over the first seven months since the virus was detected in Maine, no known transmission had taken place on the Togus campus, reports the Portland Press Herald. Thorough planning and quick execution helped prevent any surge, and the hospital entered the fall without having to deal with more than two positive cases in any one day.

The performance allowed Togus employees to help elsewhere in the VA system. Volunteers completed 67 two-week deployments around the country and returned with knowledge and experience about caring for coronavirus patients. They also shared their expertise, such as when a housekeeping aide from Chelsea introduced a backpack electrostatic sprayer to a New York City hospital for use in sanitizing large items.


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