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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Lessons in Business Continuity Planning: One Hospital's Response to a Disaster

Written by  Lisa M. Reshaur, Ph.D. and Richard P. Luongo, PE Tuesday, 20 November 2007 23:36

A fire in your main power switch room! Loss of electricity to over 65 percent of your facility! Evacuation of patients and staff, and loss of communication systems! Is your hospital prepared for this kind of event? This is what Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital (CRCH) had to cope with when a fire broke out. As disasters go, this was a relatively minor event. However, it could have had a major impact on this hospital had they not been prepared and fortunate enough to have their sister hospital, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH), a mile away. Reviewing what happened, how hospital employees reacted and what lessons they learned from this event can help other hospitals and healthcare systems prepare for their own disasters. The fire started at approximately 3:45 p.m. in the boiler room of the East wing of CRCH in the main power switch room. As a result, communication systems were