HAP Blog

Why a ‘Mock Drill’ is Perfect for Your New Hospital Facility

Before opening, take advantage of your pre-launch period to bolster emergency preparedness

July 31, 2023

Recently, a newly constructed facility in northeast Ohio conducted an EMS Mock Day” before it officially opened its doors to patients and visitors. Clinical leaders, health care providers, and first responders worked through multiple clinical scenarios where the intent was to test communication systems, align resources, and enhance overall processes.

While today’s financial outlook for hospitals and health care isn’t promising, there are still many expansion projects underway across the commonwealth and the United States. From emergency departments to NICUs to behavioral health clinics, hospitals and health care facilities are enhancing their infrastructure and services as their environment and community needs evolve.

Because of this expansion, there is opportunity for emergency managers to implement exercises and drills. When I hear a new unit is being constructed, I immediately think it’s a great opportunity to secure or book the structure for a few hours, a day, or maybe a few days so the space can be utilized to train ancillary staff, clinical providers, and leadership.

Inviting community partners like EMS, fire, and police will not only help build relationships, it also familiarizes these individuals with the building layout and internal processes.

Furthermore, mock openings or drills can highlight vulnerabilities that were not necessarily recognized during the design process. Getting in before doors open also means you won’t interrupt normal business operations or impact patient care or visitors.

The facilities also are great candidates for your Mock EMS Day:

  • Renovated departments or units that are not yet housing patients.
  • Use offsite offices or clinics and incorporate the hospital command center—merge the offside drill into hospital operations.
  • Recently closed or decommissioned units or buildings.

Emergency management is all about thinking ahead. You’ll be glad you took the opportunity to conduct some mock drills before your new facility opens.

For more information about conducting emergency drills, contact me or HAP’s Emergency Management team.


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