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
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
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
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.