First federally-funded guide to hospital emergency preparedness completed

Weill Cornell Medical College faculty and student assistants have recently finished the nation’s first federally-funded guide to hospital emergency preparedness exercises.

The project’s goal was to optimize the means by which the nation’s hospitals can respond to a major health crisis such as a bioterrorism attack or an influenza pandemic, according to

The project began in 2008, when the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality announced it was looking to find a comprehensive assessment of the resources available to promote the development, conduct and evaluation of hospital preparedness exercises in the United States.

The Weill Cornell Medical College team of researchers evaluated more than 400 emergency preparedness exercise documents in their analysis. After the team evaluated the exercise documents, more than 50 hospital emergency preparedness professionals in five states reviewed their findings.

The final results of their work can be found in the “Hospital Preparedness Exercises Guidebook,” and its accompanying pocket reference guide and searchable atlas of tools and resources.

Nathaniel Hupert, an associate professor of public health and medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, said the guide can improve response capabilities at hospitals, according to

Hupert told that the guidebook was, “a single point of reference to help hospital preparedness exercise coordinators meet the many requirements, rules and regulations — both federal and accreditation-related — pertaining to the planning, conduct and evaluation of hospital emergency preparedness exercises.”