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Case 3 : Hospitals Don’t Burn: Caribbean Island Regional Hospital
Western Public Health Casebooks
  • Jyllian Lippmann, Western University
  • Marlene Janzen Le Ber, Brescia University College
Case Synopsis

Adrianus “Ton” Vlugman, is a senior advisor at the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) positioned at the Office of Caribbean Program Coordination. On June 18, 2014, Ton travelled to the Caribbean Island Regional Hospital. The goal of his trip was to conduct a desktop simulation exercise on fire safety and review the emergency plan of the hospital. He also intended to aid in the preparation of an evacuation exercise and observe its execution in order to help staff reassess and develop their hospital response plan. This trip fell under the second phase of Safe Hospitals as funded by DIPECHO (Europe).

When Ton arrived at the hospital he was told that the senior hospital staff were planning a full surprise fire evacuation drill for the next day. The drill took place on the 19th of June in four of six male wards. This case reviews the blow-by-blow details of the fire evacuation drill as Ton decided what recommendations needed to be made to improve the hospital’s response plan and future drills.

Case Objectives
  1. To describe the key elements of disaster management plans for hospitals, health care centres, and public health centres.
  2. To focus on the Public Health Preparedness and Response Core Competencies:
    a. Model Leadership: to understand and assess how problems are solved under emergency conditions.
    b. Communication and Information Management: to understand chain of command and how communications may be altered during emergency situation.
    c. Planning and Improving Practice: to evaluate the current plan and make recommendations to improve it.
    d. Protect Safety: to recognize and determine threats to patient and staff safety (e.g. surprise drill).
  3. To gain skills in critically evaluating a plan or program by utilizing available resources, peer interaction and brainstorming activities.
Case Study Questions
  1. What are the main concerns Ton, the PAHO advisor, may have with the drill? (Use the Public Health Preparedness and Response Core Competency Model.)
  2. Based upon the sections of the hospital’s response plan in the appendix, what areas of the drill followed, or did not follow, the plan?
  3. What changes or additions should be made to the plan to make it both practical and safe?
  • disaster preparedness,
  • international,
  • PAHO,
  • safe hospitals.
Additional Author Information

Jyllian Lippmann, MPH

Marlene Janzen Le Ber, PhD, Assistant Professor

Citation Information
Lippmann, J., Janzen Le Ber, M. (2015). Hospitals Don’t Burn: Caribbean Island Regional Hospital in: Speechley, M., & Terry, A.L. [eds] Western Public Health Casebook 2015. London, ON: Public Health Casebook Publishing.