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Emergency operations

Man looking at a map

The Enterprise Emergency Operations Center (EEOC) works with leaders across HCA Healthcare’s more than 2,000 sites of care and corporate teams to provide necessary resources to deliver the best patient care possible when emergencies occur and coordinate responses before, during and after a crisis to ensure colleagues and patients are safe.

HCA Healthcare activated EEOC teams early on at corporate, in each division and in each hospital to be available 24/7 for leaders, so they could draw on resources and expertise from across the organization to coordinate communication needs throughout the pandemic. In early January, leaders recognized that the outbreak in Wuhan, China, could have implications for global spread and affect the production of the majority of the world’s personal protective equipment (PPE).


of the world’s PPE is made in China

The EEOC focused on their pandemic plan, relying heavily on protocols already in place from other disaster-preparedness situations. In January, the EEOC held a series of exercises with facility leaders to tackle a number of different critical scenarios and evaluate the threat of COVID-19.

In states where COVID-19 cases continued to surge, the EEOC quickly deployed on-site at the hospitals experiencing near-capacity intensive care units (ICUs) to provide a range of critical support for colleagues and patients and organize surge units and mobile hospitals to help treat patients.

The EEOC helps us accomplish this by coordinating resources to focus on four main priorities:

  • Meeting the physical and emotional well-being of our patients, colleagues, families and communities
  • Providing hospitals and facilities with the people, supplies, equipment and physical space needed to deliver care and conduct business functions
  • Ensuring the organization can care for patients, protect staff and respond to the greater needs of the community
  • Delivering on our commitment to the care and improvement of human life

HCA Healthcare is committed to fighting COVID-19 and continues to support our patients, colleagues and communities by applying our scale and utilizing resources and best practices to develop and share solutions.

No matter the emergency or threat, at HCA Healthcare, we work together — especially during difficult times — to accomplish our greatest priority: providing the best care for our patients.

Presidential debate

Presidential debate

Photo credit: Sam Simpkins/Belmont University

Belmont University, located in HCA Healthcare’s home town of Nashville, Tennessee, hosted the final debate of the 2020 presidential election. Holding an event of this magnitude in the midst of a global pandemic took innovation, precision and teamwork by some of the most prominent organizations in Nashville. Along with other local and national partners, HCA Healthcare helped Belmont execute procedures to conduct the event safely and seamlessly.

“The structure that we put in place for the debate is very much the same structure that we use in our everyday emergency operations,” says Mike Wargo, vice president of Enterprise Preparedness and Emergency Operations for HCA Healthcare. “Safety is always our No. 1 priority, infrastructure is No. 2 and completing the job is No. 3. And if we accomplish those three, then we hit our fourth priority which is fulfillment of our mission. And post-debate I am proud to say ‘mission accomplished’.”

  • Nearly 600 HCA Healthcare colleagues volunteered to help with screening, scheduling appointments, registration, lab testing and wayfinding.

  • The average turnaround time for receiving test results was 5 minutes.

  • Approximately 2,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted at HCA Healthcare over 7 days.

  • HCA Healthcare managed more than 1,500 calls for scheduling or assistance.

  • Mike Wargo was awarded the Director’s Recognition Award for outstanding assistance and support on behalf of the protective responsibilities of the U.S. Secret Service.