Funding supports physicians involved in Code Orange exercise

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More than 60 participants, including physicians, nurses and others attended the disaster preparedness event held July 27 in the Emergency Operations Centre at VGH. A record physician turnout was due in large part to funding provided by the Vancouver Physician Staff Association Facility Engagement Initiative, which paid physician time to participate, and also funded Drs. Chris Lee and Patrick Oxciano, Emergency Physicians, and Dr. Emilie Joos, Trauma Surgeon, for their time helping coordinate the event.

The all-day exercise included representatives from the Emergency Department, Trauma Services, and ICU, as well as reps from the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Red Cross. It provided an opportunity to test tools and processes as well as assess how our teams communicate and work together in a disaster response situation.

“The day was a success from a physician engagement perspective and as a disaster preparedness event,” said Dr. Lee. “We had 11 physicians involved throughout the day. Having this many physicians is very encouraging and a great improvement from our last exercise.”

Connecting across disciplines

Multiple disciplines and roles working together created an opportunity for people to connect professionally and personally as they learned from each other and from the events of the day.

“There is still a lot of work to do,” Dr. Lee continued. “More key stakeholders, such as ICU and radiology, need to be involved; and our decanting process needs to be formalized with other departments. I am looking forward to engaging more physicians in our next exercise planned for October 2017 and, in a full- scale city-wide exercise planned for spring 2018.”

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