Tabletop exercise shows hospital strengths, weaknesses

(Courtesy photo)

Sheridan Memorial Hospital conducted a tabletop COVID-19 exercise for staff on Sept. 17.

Dr. John Addlesperger reported on the event at a meeting of the hospital board Wednesday night, saying the exercise resulted in a lot of “real discussion” of the hospital’s potential weaknesses as well as strengths.

Dr. Addlesperger said the exercise brought up issues regarding the quarantining of hospital staff and identified potential threats including school closures, which can impact hospital employees who have children. Another weakness, he said, is in surge estimates. He said those numbers are all just guesses at this point.

But, he said, there are strengths, including a hospital that provides the flexibility needed to ramp up and meet the needs of a potential surge. Also, Addlesperger said, the hospital has an engaged staff and a good stockpile of personal protective equipment.

He said the hospital also has developed telemedical resources so that patients can be treated even when they aren’t at the hospital.

Responding to a question from a member of the board, Dr. Addlesperger said Wyoming as a whole is obviously hitting new highs in COVID-19 cases, but that’s true of neighboring communities as well. He said hospitals in Billings and Casper are at capacity in patient volumes.



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