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FEATURE


those for medical gas and electric.” It turned out the electric shut-off was in the basement of the building and required a key. Only one person in the whole building, however, had the key. Now the ASC has its own key ring with emergency keys. “The staff went down to the basement and became familiar with the switches. We also labeled them. During a stressful situ- ation, these simple practices should help improve response time.” Kilgore says a cardiopulmonary resuscitation drill her ASC conducted also provided some valuable lessons. In pulling out the two emergency boxes—one in the preoperative area and one in recovery—staff discov- ered that a few of the newest staff members did not even know those boxes existed. “We had our anesthe-


sia providers deliver an in-service on their importance and use,” she says. When deciding what drills to per- form, Desautels suggests: “Try to make it a fun and interesting expe- rience for the staff. Despite their seriousness, these do not need to be scary. Also push your team. Tackle scenarios that are challenging.”


Front of Mind You never know when your ASC might face an emergency, Allison says, so try to keep emergency pre- paredness in the spotlight year-round. It might seem like the chances of an emergency are remote, but recent events throughout the country, such as the wildfires, mudslides, volcano eruption and mass shootings, would seem to indicate otherwise, she says. “Every time there is a significant


disaster somewhere, ask staff how they would respond if faced with a similar experience.”


Desautels advises seeking ways to better prepare staff. Certain compa- nies go into ASCs and help them run exercises more effectively. “Bring in local authorities to educate staff on scenarios such as active shooters. Get involved in your state’s ASC asso- ciation. You can network with other members and share policies and pro- cedures. You never know what you might learn that may help you down the road.”


There is no such thing as over- preparing, Kilgore says. “Staff will sometimes say that we will likely never need to do much of what we practice. I tell them that while I hope that is the case, should the need arise, we will be ready.”


16 ASC FOCUS AUGUST 2018|www.ascfocus.org


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