DOH: CNY HEPC Coalition Surge Test Exercise

Lisa Volk in Clinical & Quality

Sometime within the next two weeks, the CNY Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalition (CNY HEPC) will run a four-hour low/no notice coalition surge test that will focus on communication and cooperation between members. Low/no notice exercise do a better job of simulating the reality of rapid-onset incidents than other exercises and are encouraged by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Hospital Preparedness Program (who sponsored the development of this exercise).

The exercise will consist of three parts:

Phase 1/Part 1: A 180-minute simulated table top exercise with functional elements that plays out in real time and facilitate discussion.

Phase 2/Part 2: A 30 to 45-minute After Action Review to debrief. This phase will be conducted within 30 days of the Coalition Surge Test.

Your institution will be identified as either an evacuating facility or receiving facility the day of the exercise. Degree of participation will vary considerably across participants. Your facility may be contacted at time during the 90 minutes of real-time play.

After the table top exercise is a facilitated discussion designed to cover aspects of the scenario not covered in the real-time phase and to give coalition members who were not involved in real-time play a chance to participate. All coalition members are encouraged to participate in this call. Shortly after the table top exercise begins, each coalition member's predesignated point of contact will receive notification (via phone, and/or email) of the exact time that the conference call will begin and how to call in to participate. (Note that the conference call may not directly follow the real-time play.) The facilitated discussion will last 90 minutes, and a 45-minutes After Action Review debrief (Phase 2/Part 3) will follow as soon as possible within 30 days of the Coalition Surge Test.

To maintain the element of surprise, coalition members will not know the exact date and time of the exercise, what the scenario is, or what their role in the exercise will be. There will be no moulaged patients, and real patients will not be moved or otherwise disturbed. The exercise is designed to provide a robust test of how well a coalition can function in an emergency, while minimizing the burden on participants.

Your institution's participation is greatly appreciated. Please contact: Judy Homer at judy.homer@health.ny.gov /(315) 477-8442 or Megan Kash at megan.kash@health.ny.gov /(315) 477-8146 if you have any questions or concerns. Included is a copy of Hospital Preparedness Coordinators, if you would like to have further discussion regarding your participation in the Coalition Surge Test.

Judy Homer, Public Preparedness Representative, Hospital Preparedness Program

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACT:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15