As part of a multifaceted emergency preparedness program, Albany Medical Center uses a mass notification system to quickly and efficiently inform its entire workforce of situations that may impact the Medical Center or require mobilization.
“Having ‘all hands on deck’ is vital to our ability to address a crisis while continuing to serve our patients. Keeping our employees continually informed helps ensure we are ready for any situation,” said Scott Heller, director of emergency management. “It also frees personnel from staff notification duties so they can assist with addressing the crisis at hand.”
Additionally, the system is designed to notify employees of situations that could impact their safety.
Called AMC Alert, the system notifies employees via text message, email, phone calls or all of the above depending on contact information provided and organizational decisions.
The system is designed to handle any kind of situation, including Medical Center-specific incidents, severe weather, or a large-scale emergency that would bring in an influx of patients.
An Emergency Notification Oversight Committee determines which employees should be notified depending on the type of incident.
“We constantly examine and change this information based on employee and administrative feedback,” said Senior Vice President and Hospital Chief Operating Officer Bernadette Pedlow. She added employees review with their managers what is expected of them when an alert goes out.
The system complements Albany Med’s emergency preparedness efforts, which include extensive planning and regular drills.
Heller noted that when AMC Alert (sometimes called Everbridge, the name of the vendor) is activated, other area hospitals who subscribe to AMC Alert put their own security forces on notice. “We have found that AMC Alert creates a positive community-wide response,” he said.