Can We Use BIM as a Tool During Crisis Situations?
Last week, Julie Brown, Director of Client Services, attended the New England Healthcare Engineers Society conference. The conference was great, but one session in particular made her pause to reflect.
While at the NEHES conference last week I attended a session on the active shooter event that took place at the Hospital for Special Care in Hartford, CT on February 22, 2012. Don Cyr, VP of Facilities, described that evening’s events and shared the lessons learned, specifically those regarding interaction between hospital administration and the police department. He mentioned that it would have been extremely helpful if the police and responders had accurate plans or as-builts of the hospital at their disposal. This would have given them a better understanding of the layout of the building, and aided in sweeping and infiltrating the building.
It made me think, could BIM be used as yet another post occupancy tool in hospitals. Could the model, shared with police departments be used to by SWAT teams as they plan their response to active shooting cases, allowing them to virtually look inside the structure prior to entering a hostile environment and make a plan prior to entrance? Should all police department media rooms be supplied with the software and models of all the hospitals in their jurisdiction to aid them in the event of crisis situations?
The Annals of Emergency Medicine recently published a study stating that there were 154 hospital related shootings in the United States, between 2000 and 2011. Hospital shootings are rare events, but are extremely hard to predict, wreaking havoc on the ongoing operations at the hospital, with the possibility of patient evacuation and shut downs being close to impossible, I wonder if the “virtual” aspect of BIM can indeed be a tool in these all too real scenarios.
What are your thoughts?