Airway & Respiratory, News, Operations, Patient Care

Stanford Hospital Does Nation’s First Drive-Through Pandemic Exercise

STANFORD, Calif. — A couple of months ago, during the swine flu scare, Stanford Hospital & Clinics had a preview of what a real pandemic might look like: Hundreds of people, fearing they might be sick with the H1N1 virus, showed up at the emergency department looking for help. Hospital officials scrambled fast, converting some space overnight into an infection-controlled triage area.

Friday morning, Stanford Hospital tested a different triage model, one that could become the standard for how hospitals respond when thousands need care at the height of a pandemic. It’s a drive-through triage-and-care system that keeps sick people in their cars, preventing them from infecting anyone else, while allowing doctors, nurses and pharmacists to care for them as quickly and efficiently as possible through an open window.

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