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Sanford Wins Planning Award for iPad Project

Sep 26, 2013 11:16AM ● By Med Editor

The South Dakota Department of Health’s Healthcare Coalitions Project has awarded Sanford Health’s emergency management team in the Sioux Falls region the Outstanding Emergency Preparedness Partner Award.

The award is given to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated outstanding performance or lessons learned in the pursuit of emergency preparedness for their facility, community, region or the state of South Dakota. 

The Sanford emergency management committee in the Sioux Falls region and its incident management team was created in 2005 after recognizing a need for a standard format for hospital preparedness. Sanford began to consider iPads and iOS technology to close a gap in communications redundancy across the Sioux Falls region

Sanford requested and received a grant from the South Dakota Department of Health to complete the iPad project, which implemented the lightweight, inexpensive technology of Apple IOS into its command center communications structure.

The iPad project created multiple layers of communication capability that easily links to existing technology. Sanford has achieved a “safety net” for its command center that makes powerful communication tools available from anywhere there is a cellphone or Wi-Fi signal.

“The iPad project is changing the health care system and allowing us to work more efficiently,” said Greg Santa Maria, emergency manager for Sanford in the Sioux Falls region. “In addition, The South Dakota Department of Health’s Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) has allowed us to expand the project further. We have created an intelligence section in the hospital command center that now has the tools and capabilities to receive information, objectives and resource requests in real time from any of our facilities as well as our external partners. This section can be accessed remotely using these iPads and can send real-time video and images from an affected facility back to the command center for evaluation and assessment.”

In November 2012, the iPad project was fully tested during a Sanford regional exercise. Sanford is in the process of adding facilities to this existing project.