Responding to disaster at Brockton Hospital [Video]

January 16, 2024 |  CIO, Video, Patients

It’s been almost a year since disaster struck at Brockton Hospital. On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, an electrical fire erupted in the hospital’s transformer room, resulting in the city's first ever 10-alarm fire. The response included 77 ambulances from surrounding towns and states, six wheelchair vans, and 31 fire trucks. Remarkably, with the help of Brockton Hospital’s dedicated staff and the support of their community, every patient was successfully evacuated. I spoke with Signature Healthcare Vice President and CIO Nick Szymanski about the day of the fire and what the recovery process has been like. 

“The very first step was, what does the patient need and how do we help with their care wherever they’re going?” explained Szymanski.

Szymanski credits their participation in CommonWell, use of Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs), and partnership with MEDITECH for the hospital’s ability to send critical information to the surrounding hospitals that were taking in their patients. 

In the midst of this emergency, Signature Healthcare pivoted to continue caring for their community. After the fire, the health system quickly launched two urgent care locations to help alleviate the stress of the surrounding hospitals experiencing a higher influx of patients. 

“We had to be innovative, we had to move quickly, and we had to be very decisive, and always keep the patient and community front and center,” Szymanski said.

In light of Signature Healthcare’s response to the disaster, the organization was recognized as one of the most socially responsible hospitals by the Lown Institute.

Signature Healthcare continues to work steadily towards safely reopening Brockton Hospital and plans to be fully operational in 2024. While repairs and improvements continue at Brockton Hospital, Signature Healthcare remains dedicated to supporting its patients, community and staff to provide the highest quality of care.

The health system has successfully opened their third walk-in urgent care in East Bridgewater, MA. Endoscopy, wound care, infusion, and same day surgery have reopened on-site, and renovations and remodeling to the parking solar arrays and cafeteria continue. New spaces previously planned within the hospital are underway, including a new front lobby and emergency department including a new behavioral health triage area. The hospital is currently piloting self-check-in and plans to go-LIVE with the latest version of Expanse for the hospital’s reopening.

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Written by Leah Farina, Vice President, MEDITECH

Leah Farina brings warmth, intellect, and professionalism to her role as vice president of Client Services, overseeing all aspects of the account management/customer experience, including support for U.S., Canada, and HCA (one of MEDITECH’S largest customers). She also leads the Implementation/Service team for Home Care/Hospice and the System Technology division.