Inside St. Pat's emergency command center

Hospitals across Southwest Louisiana continue to stand ready for any emergency situation Isaac could throw our way. We take you inside CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital's emergency command center to see how responses are handled.

Even with Isaac weakening over the state, Emergency Preparedness Director, Scott Kyle, is checking in with the Department of Health and Hospitals.  "We have no expected outages," said Kyle over the phone.

Kyle handles the hospital's emergency planning and serves as the designated regional coordinator (DHR) for Southwest Louisiana, managing the communication for any medical emergency situations.  "It could be a hazardous materials situations requiring decontamination, mass casualty incidents on the interstates," he said, "also hurricanes and weather events."

It is Isaac that has Kyle on high alert this week, staying up-to-date on the hospitals in other parts of the state dealing with power outages, patient transfers and areas of evacuation.  "It shows each region, what their capacities are, what their statuses are on the computer portal," said Kyle.

Until the DHH says otherwise, all hospitals across the state are required to check in twice a day, updating their own census.  "We report our bed statuses, our census, generator status," said Kyle.

This organization and communication model is built off the federal government's incident command system.

Hospitals in Southwest Louisiana are on emergency alert, but still operating as normal with Isaac posing less of a threat to the area. But the emergency management coordinator can change the plan at a moment's notice if the need arises, and has stocked enough food and medication at the hospital for 96-hours of self-sustainment.

At this point, there has not been a need to evacuate patients in other parts of the state to our area. Central Louisiana hospitals are reportedly getting a slight patient influx, though, from shelters.

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