Moses Cone Hospital confusion spread during lockdown due to ‘unclear policies and protocols,’ plans revisions

This video accompanied a previous article on the lockdown. 

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A lockdown at Moses Cone Hospital sparked confusion through the hospital from what the hospital is calling "unclear policies and protocols." Now, they're working to make sure that doesn't happen again.

The Moses Cone Hospital was put on lockdown at 7:10 p.m. Saturday and came out of lockdown about an hour later.

According to the hospital, lockdown means Moses Cone Hospital restricts the entrances so no one comes in or out except for the ambulances. The hospital then continues to run normally but with a heightened sense of security.

In an email to Cone Health employees, the hospital explained that the lockdown stemmed from a threatening phone call received by an employee of hospital's 5th floor Select Specialty Hospital.

The employee then contacted the PBX operator, and the lockdown was initiated.

"The initial overhead announcement, however, included incorrect information including the phrase 'active shooter,'" the hospital said in the email. "This message was not corrected nor were any updates made overhead until an all-clear announcement came more than an hour later."

Moses Cone Hospital said this caused worry and confusion among staff and visitors.

"We have determined this miscommunication was not due to an individual error, but instead due to unclear policies and protocols provided to those who manage our overhead announcements," the hospital said.

Moving forward, Moses Cone Hospital has plans to improve emergency communications at the hospital to avoid confusion in any future emergencies.

Emergency Management is revising the scripts used for emergency overhead communications to ensure accuracy and making sure timely updates are added to protocol.

The hospital's review found that the current lockdown policy focuses primarily on localized lockdowns, meaning lockdowns in specific areas of the hospital, such as the Emergency Department. The hospital's Emergency Management and Security teams are creating a new lockdown policy for campus-wide events.

New procedures will make sure a command center is activated and messages are sent to department directors and leadership alliance members.

While the inpatient units have emergency radios, the hospital plans to make sure all hospital departments have emergency radios.

Once the new policies are in place, the hospital plans to schedule drills to make sure the emergency processes work effectively.

"Your safety and the safety of our patients and guests is our top priority," the hospital said. "We will be working to ensure timely, accurate and continuously updated communications during emergency events that help keep patients, guests and team members informed and safe."

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