• Innovation in Action

Oct 5, 2022

On-Site Medical Tent During Four-Day Public Event Prevents Overwhelming Hospital’s ER

Medical Tent group

To prevent its emergency department (ED) from being overwhelmed by people needing medical care during a four-day rodeo, Missouri Delta Medical Center (MDMC) in Sikeston, Missouri, set up a portable treatment center at the event to care for patients who do not require care at the ED.

Over four days, the medical center treated 46 patients and only sent seven to the emergency department for more extensive care, according to MDMC’s Eric Slaughter, RN, BSN.

In addition to setting up the medical tent, MDMC coordinated with local EMS services including a medical transport helicopter and law enforcement to evaluate and provide first aid/triage services on site and to transport patients who required ED treatment. On-site staff consisted of MDMC volunteers, which included physicians, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, RNs, LPNs, CNAs, RTs, PTs and other additional support staff.

One challenge the hospital faced was recruiting enough volunteers to cover the four-day event, but staff stepped up to the challenge.

“We used an internal campaign that spread a positive message of how we can help our community and not overwhelm our co-workers in the ED,” Eric said.

Another unforeseen obstacle was that the first medical station they set up the night before the rodeo was destroyed during a thunderstorm. They overcame this challenge when a portable building was donated during the first day of the event. They set up Homeland Security air conditioners in the portable building, as well as medical cots from the Department of Health and Senior Services and medical supplies from MDMC and St. Charles County Ambulance District (SCCAD) EMS.

The MDMC team plans to continue using off-site medical treatment centers in the future to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital that may strain their ED resources. “Volunteers enjoyed engaging and helping the people in the community during the event, as well as the free custom rodeo t-shirt they received,” Eric said.