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Hospitals Ready To Handle Y2K

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RALEIGH — No one is sure what will happen when midnight hits on New Year's Eve, but the hospitals are prepared for the worst of Y2K if it comes down to life or death.

Inside WakeMed, all systems are go for Y2K. Doctors and nurses will be standing by for what may happen outside the hospital.

Vince Steiniger, Chief Information Officer for WakeMed, says Y2K will not even be a blip on a heart monitor. More than 9,000 pieces of lifesaving equipment are Y2K ready.

"We've inventoried everything, and we've contacted manufacturers to find out if the equipment was compliant," Steiniger said.

By 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve, a command center will be up and operating just in case.

"This is a standing team of individuals, management-level individuals, who have been trained in disaster preparedness, disaster planning, and emergency responses," Steiniger said.

As the clock ticks toward the end of the century, the only unknown, Steiniger says, is what will happen outside the hospital in homes and on the streets of Wake County.

"What we're concerned about is any possible public reaction to an unknown to any event that takes place that night," Steiniger said. "New Year's Eve in 2000 may be one of those nights when people are prone to do some not so smart things."

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Todd Hauer, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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