A Physician Reflects on His Hospital’s COVID Battle Strategy

April 29, 2021
Dr. Ron Nutting, chief medical officer, Reading Hospital, Tower Health

Dr. Ron Nutting, chief medical officer, Reading Hospital, Tower Health

Health systems activate their hospital incident command systems (HICS) during a crisis, but usually the crisis doesn’t last for more than a year as the coronavirus pandemic has.

From the start of the pandemic, hospital incident command centers became the temporary headquarters for crisis management. Leaders had to adapt day-to-day to keep their organizations and all stakeholders aligned, with effective communications strategies an absolutely essential component.

But the pandemic is not over yet, and timely, accurate guidance continues to be a critical need.

“We have a strategy with our incident command center that allows us to stand it up at a moment’s notice, so at the start of the crisis we stood up our incident command center at Reading Hospital and it ran seven days a week, around the clock,” says Dr. Ron Nutting, chief medical officer at Reading Hospital, Tower Health.

“At the same time, we also set up incident command centers at our sister facilities as well as at the system level. We gradually dialed back that availability time to the daylight hours, and then it became small pockets of time during the week with people available 24 hours a day to loop in the leadership team. It required some nimbleness, but it was a take-off of our normal incident command structure that we do for any infrastructure failure,” Nutting says.

Learn more from Dr. Nutting and three other physicians about how their HICS enabled them to stay on top of a lengthy battle against COVID:

How Physicians Led Their Organizations Through the “Fog of War”

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Matt Humphrey
President

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