Looking for Trouble: Tabletop Emergency Exercises

One alternative to full-scale emergency drills and exercises is tabletop exercises

By Dan Hounsell
June 10, 2021

An emergency preparedness plan is only as good as the results it produces in an actual emergency. But how do healthcare facilities managers know if their organizations’ plan will actually work and enable a quick return to normal operations? Short of an actual crisis, managers can undertake full-scale exercises designed to simulate the real thing. But such events can be complex and unworkable.

One alternative to full-scale exercises is tabletop exercises, and Ballad Health has adopted this approach, according to Campus Safety.

One challenge Ballad Health discovered was with their access control systems. Team members learned that especially with the active shooter tabletop, they noticed that law enforcement would not be able to get to a lot of locations because of the access control.”

To address the issue, they made go-bags at designated locations with access control cards, radios, blueprints of the facility and other important supplies to enable police access, and they gave some law enforcement agencies access control cards to place in patrol vehicles.

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