By Brian Yeaman, MD
On May 20, 2013, a level 5 tornado headed straight for Moore Medical Center in Moore, Oklahoma. As a physician on call at the medical center, I was part of a tremendous team that had two priorities: protect those in the building as the tornado was about to hit, and immediately following the impact, resume a high level of care to those affected in the community.
To address the first priority, the team gathered everyone in the center of the cafeteria and stayed there until the tornado passed. Outside the medical center walls, devastation surrounded us. Tens of thousands of families in the area had lost power and many houses and mobile homes were completely leveled. Moore had taken a direct hit.
Determining the best way to treat our community was the next challenge. Within hours, hundreds of patients flooded the emergency room with injuries ranging in severity from bleeding to unconsciousness. Ten patients had to be admitted who required various medicines and treatment plans. To properly treat these patients and better understand their history, drug allergies, and medications, we needed access to their medical records and quickly.