Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)

Hospitals are required to have an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) which describes how a facility will respond to and recover from all hazards. It is inclusive of the six critical elements within the Joint Commission’s Emergency Management Standards:

  • Communications
  • Resources and assets
  • Safety and security
  • Staff responsibilities
  • Utilities
  • Clinical support activities

The “all hazards” approach allows ability to respond to a range of emergencies varying in scale, duration, and cause. The EOP addresses response procedures, capabilities and procedures when the hospital can not be supported by the community, recovery strategies, initiating and terminating response and recovery phases, activating authority and identifies alternate sites for care, treatment and services.

The Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) provides the structure and processes that the organization utilizes to respond to and initially recover from an event. The EOP is therefore the response and recovery component of the EMP. 

The Joint Commission Emergency Management Standards are very specific to the requirements of the hospital EOP, however it should be noted that some of these requirements cross over to mitigation and preparedness activities. For a suggested outline of the Emergency Management Program and for further guidance, see the following