Safety first: EvergreenHealth communicates rapidly in lockdown

January 18, 2018

On Tuesday morning a provider at the Kirkland hospital spotted a person of concern, carrying an unidentifiable object that resembled a sword or rifle. Security was notified, and within minutes a Code Silver was announced and the hospital was in lockdown. What transpired in the next few minutes was a textbook case of excellent emergency management and communications. Behind the scenes, trained hospital personnel sprang into action.

At 8:34 the first e-mail went out to all staff, stating “the hospital is locked down due to an incident that we are investigating. To ensure safety, ‘shelter in place’ – do not transport patients or visitors in hallways.”

In a commendable commitment to transparency, EvergreenHealth asked the media to help ensure community safety. A photograph of the person of concern was distributed.

What transpired in the next 90 minutes led to a happy and uneventful ending. The gentleman in question was located and the unidentifiable object was confirmed to be an umbrella with a handle that is shaped like a sword. At 10:10 the all-clear was sent.

“As our intent is to deliver on our commitment of Absolute Safety, acting in a manner consistent with absolute caution is always important – regardless of the amount of time or effort that takes,” EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte wrote to hospital employees in an email.

It’s easy to armchair quarterback these situations after the fact. WSHA would like to applaud the obvious and instilled commitment to absolute safety and service demonstrated by EvergreenHealth. Their transparent and swift communication, engaging the media as partners in community safety and providing clear information, supported by the valiant efforts of their security team and Kirkland Police Department, allowed this situation to conclude without incident, all while protecting patients, staff and their larger community. (Rhonda Curry)


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