Scotland County Hospital Hosts Emergency Preparedness Excercise
Written by Corey Stott on December 14, 2022
Scotland County Hospital recently conducted a table top disaster exercise with key emergency & healthcare personnel in the county. The agencies that participated were: Scotland County Health Department, Scotland County Ambulance, Scotland County/City of Memphis Fire & Rescue, Scotland County Commission, Scotland County Sheriff, and Gorin Fire and Rescue.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) requires that health centers test their emergency preparedness plans bi-annually. A tabletop exercise is acceptable to satisfy this requirement. Tabletop exercises are simulated, interactive exercises taking a scenario thru an organization’s incident response procedures. They help by assessing your preparation tactics, practice your response plans, and improve your recovery capabilities in a risk-free environment. Because the environment of a tabletop exercise is non-threatening (i.e., a “real” emergency is not happening), exercise participants can calmly rehearse their roles, ask questions, and troubleshoot problem areas.
Tabletop exercises are discussion-based sessions where team members meet in an informal, classroom setting to discuss their roles during an emergency and their responses to a particular emergency situation. A facilitator guides participants through a discussion of one or more scenarios. Robert Miller, Scotland County Hospital Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and Jimmy LaChance from the Randolph County Health Department coordinated and conducted the exercise. The scenario for this training exercise was a theater fire with occupants.
Miller said, “This provides a low-risk, highly effective way to assess emergency response plans before they are needed. Well-designed tabletop exercises help all of us better understand our role in an emergency. These types of exercises provide a safe space to think critically about potential scenarios that could impact normal operations.”