"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Managing in a Crisis

In my thoughts this week were health system and hospital management teams impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  I am very fortunate to have an exceptional team pictured below who lead this organization during extremely challenging times.  The group pictured below is participating in a statewide emergency preparedness conference call on Monday as the hurricane was beginning to impact Maryland. (This was one of a number of calls that began on Friday and continued into the weekend.)  We are also supported by a wonderful staff of employees and physicians who become instant heroes when disasters hit. WMHS fared very well by comparison to McCready on the eastern shore of Maryland that had to deal with flooding in their hospital and Garrett Memorial to our west that had to deal with over 2 feet of snow. 

Then there is the NYU Medical Center in Manhattan that had to evacuate close to 300 patients during the hurricane because their backup generator failed.  Included in the evacuation was their chairman of the board, who was hospitalized with pneumonia.  On Tuesday, one of their other board members then went public that the board and management knew that the generator wouldn't work because of its age and condition.  Apparently, they are involved with a massive renovation to modernize the medical center, including their generator; but one then wonders why they didn't take steps in advance not to put patients in harm’s way.  There will be a lot of questions asked of NYU's leadership, including those from Mayor Bloomberg who has already started to ask why the city couldn't depend on NYU Medical Center when they were needed the most.

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