Hospital Preparedness Exercises

Hospital Preparedness ExercisesBackground

HSS EM Solutions’ Exercise Development Team brings over 30 years of experience designing and conducting healthcare-related exercises across the country, ranging from tabletops through full-scale offerings with community and healthcare coalition partners. Our team of Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) certified instructors, not only deliver HSEEP and The Joint Commission compliant exercises, but also offer onsite HSEEP training.

Hospitals must be prepared to respond to emergencies and disasters that may create a sudden demand on services. Well-designed (scenario-driven) exercises allow hospitals to test response capabilities to these events in real time. What has allowed the team at HSS to be so successful is our depth of knowledge and experience on how hospital and healthcare community partners operate. This allows for a very realistic exercise and garners a higher quality of involvement from participants.

Exercise Offerings 

EM Solutions offers the following as both discussion and operations-based exercises (e.g., tabletop, drill, functional, full-scale). We also specialize in the design and development of customized exercises.

  • Decontamination
  • Hazardous Material Spill
  • Healthcare Evacuation
  • Medical Surge
  • Active Shooter / Hostage
  • Healthcare Coalition Building
  • Mass Fatality
  • Mass Casualty Incidents (MCI)
  • Pandemic
  • Utility Failure
  • Loss of Community Support


Hospital Exercise Requirements Include: 

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) states that providers should conduct exercises that are designed to test individual essential elements, interrelated elements, or the entire plan.
  • Exercises or drills must be conducted at least semi-annually.
    – Corrective actions should be taken on any deficiency identified.
  • The Joint Commission within 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), at least one to include participation in a community-wide exercise, and one to include an influx of patients to the facility as part of a medical surge event.
  • The National Incident Management System Compliance for Healthcare Element 7 states that NIMS concepts and principles are promoted into all organization-related training and exercises.
  • The California Code of Regulations 70741(d) requires disaster plans to be rehearsed at least twice per year. 70743(c) requires fire and internal disaster drills shall be held at least quarterly for each shift of hospital personnel and under varied conditions.
  • NFPA 5.14 requires the entity shall evaluate program plans, procedures, and capabilities through periodic reviews, testing, and exercises.
  • Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) grants may require hospital participation in the annual Statewide Medical Health Exercise.