By Kimberly Foley. CREATED Oct 16, 2013
Omaha, NE - On Wednesday, hospitals across the metro conducted drills to make sure they know what to do if disaster strikes.
"You're never prepared for what could happen so this is the best way we can try to be prepared for what may happen," said Nicole Dollison, the campus operations leader for Bergan Mercy Medical Center.
Communication lines, moving patients and the need to get it right were all steps in preparing for the real thing.
"If and when something does happen, it's a lot less chaotic," said Dollison. "We're a lot more organized."
In this disaster drill, the southwest section of Creighton University Medical Center collapsed.
The goal was to move 117 patients to other hospitals in town.
"We are actually transferring simulated patients, but they actually do show up in our emergency rooms," said Dollison. "We do process them like we would, in a real life situation, any patient that would come through the door."
The emergency command center is where they kept track of everything.
From how many beds they had available to the number of staff members on hand, the hospital staff made sure everything was accounted for.
It's a situation that has only happened real life once.
"I haven't heard of anything except for the tornado in 1975," said Dollison. "I mean we have had little things that have come up before, but not where we're actually transferring patients."
It's a situation that hospitals and doctors are getting to know just in case.
"We prepare for these types of things, but we need to drill and practice it," said Dr. Nathaniel Brackett.
While scenarios change, the hospitals in town typically do a drill twice a year to prepare.