Safety

Emergency exercises that will ensure compliance

Hospital Safety Insider, September 9, 2010

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There’s a good reason why The Joint Commission expects hospitals to regularly conduct emergency drills or exercises, says Joseph L. Cappiello, MA, BSN.

“We do best what we do often,” says Cappiello, chair of Cappiello & Associates in Elmhurst, IL.

“Why do we do drills? We’re trying to ingrain in our staff an automatic response,” he says. In an emergency—a hurricane, an ice storm that wipes out power, or a terrorist attack—you want your staff prepared to operate in a crisis.

Cappiello compares emergency preparation to the five weeks of airborne training he once went through. In two or three hours, instructors can train soldiers to jump out of an airplane and land safely on the ground. But repeating this training for five weeks means if soldiers have to jump from a plane in a stressful combat situation, they’ll be able to do so without hesitation.

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