Hospitals are required to conduct drills and exercises for accreditation and/or grant requirement(s).
Examples of these requirements include:
The HPP grant may require hospital participation in the annual Statewide Medical Health Exercise.
The National Incident Management System Compliance for Healthcare Objective 7 states that NIMS concepts and principles are promoted into all organization-related training and exercises.
The Joint Commission in EM03.01.03 requires two emergency response exercises (at least one to include an escalating event where the local community is unable to support the event), and at least one to include participation in a community-wide exercise.
This tool was was developed by the CHA Hospital Preparedness Program to assist hospitals in development, implementation and evaluation of their exercises.
Individual exercises are part of an Exercise and Evaluation Cycle under the hospital’s Emergency Management Program. These exercises may be isolated within the hospital, or part of a larger community, or even statewide, exercise such as the California Statewide Medical Health Exercise. It is the intent of the checklist to provide an overview, guidance and resources for hospitals which allows a more coordinated effort and can be tailored to the facility.
Hospital Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA) assists exercise planners in identifying threats facing the facility. The facility’s HVA provides a list of top scenarios to base future drills and exercises on. Additionally, past After Action Reports and Improvement Plans provide previously identified areas for improvement that can be tested.
The After Action Report (AAR) captures observations of an exercise and makes recommendations for post-exercise improvements. The AAR is then used to develop Improvement Plans (IP).
In EM 03.01.03, The Joint Commission requires a hospital to assign a designee whose sole responsibility during emergency response exercises is to monitor performance and document deficiencies and opportunities for improvement. Developing an AAR meets the criteria.
Hospitals must be prepared to respond to public health emergencies that may create a sudden demand on services. Disaster drills allow hospitals to test response capabilities to these emergencies in real time.
AHRQ has developed this Tool for Evaluating Core Elements of Hospital Drills. This tool can be used by hospitals to identify the most important strengths and weaknesses in disaster drills. The results can be applied to training and drill planning.
Consistent with the blanket waiver request submitted by the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Federal Communication Commission has adopted an order which permits the use of HAM radios during hospital disaster drills. The Commission determined that amateur radio operators play a critical role during disasters and that amateur radio operators should be permitted to participate in disaster drills regardless of whether they are employed by the entity conducting the drill.
The blanket waiver request was filed by AHA in response to The Joint Commission’s requirement that hospitals prepare an emergency operations plan specifying alternative forms of communication to use during emergencies and establishing back-up communications links, including amateur radio stations, if primary communications systems fail.
Due to the adoption of the FCC order, the Commission dismissed AHA’s blanket waiver as moot.