Treating infectious diseases, stopping the spread of a pandemic and being able to react to bioterrorism attacks are just a few of the reasons why infection control is a priority at our medical centers.
We've made a sizeable commitment to emergency preparation in manpower, planning and supplies. Having these plans in place, along with staff training, helped us react quickly to the onslaught of COVID-19.
We don't immediately know if people coming into the Emergency Department are contagious, so the air in the ED waiting room and triage area is filtered and then exhausted directly to the outside rather than recirculated.
Any air recirculated in the patient treatment areas is first run through a series of cleansing filters...meaning the air inside the building is many times cleaner than the air outside of the building.
Negative pressure rooms
Any patients found to be contagious, or suspected to be contagious, will be placed in a negative pressure (isolation) room.
The air in the negative pressure rooms is exhausted to the outside after first being run through UV lights and then through a HEPA filtration system to remove contagions.
EvergreenHealth Medical Center has 100 negative pressure rooms.
Two of the isolation rooms are accessible directly from outside the emergency department. This means patients can enter the room from the outside, have a decontamination shower and get treatment without being brought into the main emergency room.
The emergency room is also set up with an outdoor area that can accommodate decontamination for a large number of patients, in event of a mass contamination.
Our emergency response team has been trained in all aspects of decontamination; this level of training is unusual outside of a military hospital.
Built to last
Both the Kirkland and Redmond emergency rooms are "built to last", meaning they will continue to be operational, especially at times when the community needs us most.
Three 1250-kilowatt diesel-fired generators will provide a backup energy source to keep both facilities operational. The buildings also have state-of-the-art fire detection and fire sprinkler systems.
Our Redmond emergency room even houses a high-tech Incident Command Center where hospital and city officials can manage a local natural disaster.
Is your family ready for an emergency?
The best way to handle a disaster is to have a plan, get an emergency kit and be informed.
We have compiled a resource section to help get your family prepared.