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Last updated:
22:07 22-Jul-2005

Copyright 1999-2005
Ian Jefferies
All rights reserved
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Theme Hospital Clinic: Emergency!

"Staff announcement: Epidemic warning!"

Overview

Elvis sings 'Blue suede flashing emergency light'

All hospitals in the real world are set up so that accidents and emergencies can be handled. Theme Hospital tests your hospitals capacity to respond by having several of its own. From the mundane like VIP visits through to full fledged and highly contagious epidemics. 

Knowing your hospitals limits is the key to handling the more serious emergencies. 
 

  • Accident emergency
  • Epidemics
  • VIP visit
  • Earthquake
  • Boiler malfunction
  •  
     

    Accident emergency

    Aiiit...choo! (gesundheit)
    • patients all have the same disease
    • short delay before patients arrive
    • may need additional rooms built
    • use competent doctors
    • may need to fix your machines
    • patients arrive at helipad
    • no diagnosis required
    • give emergency patients priority in queue(s)
    • you get payment for treatment as well
    • if you fail, patients can die

    The patients that are arriving as part of the emergency all have the same disease. You have a short period of time in which to prepare (build more rooms, place your best doctors/nurses in the cure rooms, repair machines), so take full advantage of it. 

    All the patients arrive at the helipad (off one of the pathways, a square with an H in it) and proceed to the cure room without requiring any diagnosis. When they have arrived give them priority in the queue over other patients. If they arrive spread unevenly between more than one cure room then fix that as well (you can only do this when they are actually in the queue). Don't send too many to another cure room if it is a long distance away. 

    When the patient is cured you get payment for that as well, so an emergency is worth more to you than just the bonus fee. Failing means that the patients can die and this is added to your kill total for the year. Worse, if the toll is too high you might not get a bonus either. 
      

    Disease Estimated cure number
    Requires pharmacy, slack tongue clinic, fracture clinic, DNA fixer 7-8
    All other clinics, psychiatry 5-6
    Surgery 3-4

    These estimates are based on a doctor/nurse with 75% skill, numbers will go down if the cure is a long distance from the helipad. 

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    Epidemics

    • only patients with the same disease can be infected
    • price penalty reflects difficulty to contain
    • consider cure method costs/duration
    • epidemic passed by contact
    • patients must be cured
    • vaccination helps prevent spread, but doesn't cure
    • if an epidemic patient leaves you have lost the cover-up
    • give infected patients priority in queues
    • use good doctors to cure/diagnose patients
    • epidemic over when Health Inspector reaches receptionist
    • epidemic can terminate early
    • cramped conditions and poor design may contribute

    An epidemic is perhaps one of the most challenging emergencies to contain. In any instance it is only patients with the named illness that will be infected (even if they haven't been fully diagnosed yet). The price penalty reflects potentially how difficult the epidemic will be to contain. 

    When you find out what the disease is you should consider whether the cure takes a long time (e.g. surgery vs pharmacy). If it is too long then just pay the fine. Cure limits are less than accident emergencies as some infected patients still need diagnosis, but you usually have more time so this roughly balances out. 

    When you get the epidemic announcement it is because one patient has already been fully diagnosed and is now on the way to treatment. All patients with the same condition that this patient has touched also show the symptoms at the same time (i.e. not everyone who has the illness has the contagious version of it yet). Mark them for vaccination and then get a free nurse to perform the vaccination (drop her near the patient). Once vaccinated the patient cannot pass the infectious disease on, but does still need to be cured. 

    If an epidemic patient leaves the hospital then you automatically fail. 

    All patients must be cured for the Health Inspector to be satisfied (though I did have one epidemic where a patient was still infected, but in a diagnosis room at the time!) It is not enough to vaccinate them using the nurses. Monitor the queues the patients are in and bounce them to the front. If they are sufficiently well diagnosed you can save time and 'guess a cure' (on the patient panel) in which case they will go directly to the cure room. It may be beneficial (quicker) to use good doctors to cure and diagnose patients. 

    You have until the Health Inspector reaches the receptionist desk to cure the patients. On occasion the epidemic is terminated early when the Ministry of Health hears of the epidemic you are trying to cover up. There is nothing you can do about this. 

    Cramped conditions in your hospital might be a significant contribution to the creation of epidemics. It appears that when patients mill around in close proximity to each other (narrow corridors, small waiting areas) then epidemics are more frequent. Try to design your waiting areas so that patients in a queue don't have large numbers of patients walking past them.

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    VIP visit

    Vile Ignorant Prat
    • external assessment of your hospital
    • small cash bonus and reputation boost
    • VIPs are impressed by safety and cleanliness
    • every room is examined

    The arrival of a VIP (sometimes without announcement) acts as an assessment of how well you are running your hospital. It is worth a small cash and reputation boost, which can help you out rather nicely in the early stages of a level. You should never need to refuse a VIP visit. 

    As a VIP looks around your hospital they examine each room by looking in through the door (they don't get in the way of staff and patients) and seeing how well the room is equipped. Fire extinguishers for safety, bins for cleanliness, and plants for comfort probably impress a VIP. Clean corridors might also boost a VIP's opinion, as well as short, well managed, queues. 

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    Earthquake

    • short warning before real quake
    • damages equipment
    • repair or replace machines before real quake

    The first warning you get of an earthquake is a weak tremor that shakes the screen around. As earthquakes damage equipment it is imperative that you have your handymen fix machines that might fail in the real earthquake, or buy replacements for those which cannot be repaired in time. Machines with a usage count at or near their strength are most vulnerable. 

    When the earthquake hits the amount of damage done depends on its strength. It is possible for machines to be barely damaged, while on other occasions one or more machines are so badly damaged they explode. When this happens the room is rendered unusable and that part of your hospital cannot be rebuilt. Occupants are also killed, staff and patients alike. 

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    Boiler malfunction

    • set radiators high under normal conditions
    • watch staff happiness levels
    • handymen can reduce occurrence of malfunction

    There is nothing you can do about a boiler malfunction once it has started. It will be stuck either at maximum or zero, your staff and patients will roast or freeze. 

    If you set your radiator heat output to be higher than average you gain two benefits: fewer radiators need to be placed around the hospital, and you are better protected when the boiler is stuck at maximum. No amount of radiators can protect you from when the boiler is stuck at zero. 

    During this emergency monitor your staff happiness levels more frequently. Those who are already tired are susceptible to the heat or cold and might make a pay demand of you. Temporarily fix matters by giving a bonus rather than a raise. 

    Once the emergency is over, bring the hopsital temperature back to normal more quickly by turning the radiator temperature up or down. When the patient average temperature returns to normal, return your heating settings to normal.

    The manual states that hiring more handymen will reduce the chance of a boiler failure. 

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