To prepare for the hurricane that pummeled the U.S.' Southeast coast last week, hospitals in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas either evacuated their facilities or prepared to face the storm.
Cape Canaveral Hospital, a 145-bed hospital in Cocoa Beach, Fla., evacuated. Orlando (Fla.) Health kept its emergency departments and Level 1 trauma centers open and operational but closed physician practices and rescheduled diagnostic or elective procedures.
In South Carolina, more than a dozen hospitals were granted exemptions from evacuation orders so they could provide shelter. Charleston, S.C.-based Roper St. Francis stockpiled four days' worth of hospital supplies, food and emergency fuel for generators.
Meanwhile, about 3,000 staff members at Charleston-based MUSC Health, the clinical side of the Medical University of South Carolina, remained in the hospital for 96 hours of emergency operations. The hospital prepared to operate for a full week without power, water or food being delivered.
Suppliers, distributors and group purchasing organizations such as Premier helped providers stock up.
But hospitals' true test may come after the storm. The National Weather Service on Thursday warned that hurricane Matthew “could lead to some locations being uninhabitable for weeks or months.”