Robert Carlock III, MS, MBA, CHE
Director of Environment of Care, AltaPoint Health
Consultant, Joint Commission Resources
Robert Carlock sees the positives that have come out of this crisis and how they will prepare us for the future.
Staying positive during the pandemic
“We’re hearing so much about the death rate and positive testing rates rising. I wish we could put more of the good stories happening out there. We’re no stranger to emergency preparedness. We have severe weather in our north regions and hurricanes in our south regions so we’re constantly exercising our emergency operations plans. We had everyone willing to jump in and do whatever it took to meet our patient’s and employee’s needs. Looking at our community partners, we’re seeing the true benefit of the relationships we developed with them. We have not seen one single instance of a competition for resources or an everyman for themselves mentality since this has begun. We’ve seen people come together with the attitude of what can we do to help each other. I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen internally and with our community partners.”
“We are learning so many lessons from this. Just in environment of care, what I’ve seen from my colleagues is that we’re a very resilient group. We come up with contingencies, we come up with plans, we talk to each other, we go to conferences, we read studies and we do what we can to prepare for things like this. If this was a hurricane, I could say turn to our emergency operations plan and you’ll see what to do on page 72. But there is nothing that tells us exactly what you do every single day during a pandemic of this magnitude. So we’re writing the playbook as we go along. We’re doing it with resilience and with our community partners.”
“A lot of things seem to be settling down, and there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. But in reality, we’ve got to keep in mind there is potential for a second round. I’m seeing a lot of my colleagues, who are very smart, making preparations for that second round. I know that sounds a bit contradictory, as we haven’t gotten through the first part of this crisis yet. But the fact that they are smart enough to make those plans shows that they have taken into consideration what they’ve learned from The Joint Commission about how to make emergency plans and not get comfortable. They are looking at all six functions of emergency management and making sure they’re prepared not just for this event, but every new event that comes down the road.”