On the morning of June 12, 2016 Orlando Regional Medical Center received patients from the Pulse nightclub shooting. The nightclub, located two blocks from the regions only Level 1 Trauma Center, was having a Latin night and many of the club-goers were of non-U.S. nationality. When news media reported the incident, representatives from foreign governments immediately began trying to establish whether any of their nationals were involved. Our Liaison Officer received numerous, and continuing, calls from foreign consulates and Embassies, all demanding information on whether any of their nationals had been admitted.
Prior to June 12, 2016 Orlando Health, Inc. had recognized the valuable support foreign governments can provide to their citizens, and US authorities, during times of emergency. We had been working with a foreign consular officer to identify ways patients could contact their consulates, and vice versa. We had coordinated presentations to staff from consulates on their services. We had incorporated foreign governments into our annual exercise planning earlier that year. Despite all of our efforts and understanding, the combination of a lack of process and the substantial volume of calls received created a significant impact on our organizational response.
Orlando Health, Inc. has since established a process specifically geared toward foreign national admissions. By ensuring our patients from foreign countries can benefit from accessing additional support, we continue to be the best hospital possible. We’re extremely pleased to share this information, and hope you find it helpful in your own facility’s preparedness efforts.