IHA Emergency Preparedness Exercise

August 28, 2018


IHA Emergency Preparedness Exercise Addresses Workplace Safety

Enhancing workplace safety has taken on increasing significance with recent, high-profile attacks on frontline hospital employees and with the Health Care Violence Prevention Act (House Bill 4100/Public Act 100-1051), which passed unanimously and Gov. Rauner signed into law on Friday.

With these points in mind, IHA’s Quality, Safety and Health Policy team has zeroed in on one of the most urgent scenarios requiring hospital planning—an internal active threat.

I encourage your frontline staff and administrators to participate in the 2018 IHA Emergency Preparedness Exercise on November 8. Doing so will help fortify your response to such a high-stakes workplace violence event. Participating in IHA’s exercise also helps meet a requirement of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that hospitals demonstrate completion of two preparedness exercises per year.

Exercise objectives are:

  1. Assess healthcare facilities’ policies and protocols in an active threat situation to ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors.
  2. Assess the healthcare facility’s ability to maintain critical operations during an extended response to an active threat situation.
  3. Understand the facility’s coordination and communication with healthcare facility partners during an active threat to the organization.
  4. Assess the healthcare facility’s ability to share public information with relevant stakeholders in an expedient and accurate manner.
  5. Evaluate the process for coordinating the hospital response with community partners within a Unified Command.

Keep in mind that PA100-1051 includes provisions on training and procedures to protect healthcare employees. Also included, hospitals and law enforcement agencies may develop protocols together to notify hospitals when potentially violent prisoners or justice-involved individuals will be presented for medical care.

No hospital or health system is immune to workplace violence. I urge all members to participate in IHA’s full-scale, statewide exercise to activate your response plans and enhance those plans based on the experience of the simulation.

If you have any questions about the exercise, please contact Keneatha Johnson, Director, Quality, Safety and Health Policy.