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7 Team Exercises to Prepare for the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule


As a part of the Emergency Preparedness Rule, all staff members must participate in training exercises to familiarize and gain competency in the procedures in place in case of emergencies stemming from natural disasters.

There are seven
team exercises that can help you prepare your staff for the new plans and procedures. These exercises are split into two groups: discussion-based exercises and operations-based exercises.

Discussion-Based Exercises

Discussion exercises can help to develop new plans based on the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule, as well as help familiarize staff with the new procedures in place.

Exercise #1: Workshop

Workshops are useful in the building phase of new plans, policies, and procedures. Directors and staff members can discuss the CMS Emergency Preparedness rule in depth to help draft the plans that will bring your facility into compliance with the new regulations and guidelines. Workshops give you the time and space to fully explore the rule and how it will impact your organization.

Exercise #2: Seminar

A seminar is a useful tool to informally orient staff with new plans, procedures, or policies. As they often occur off-site, seminars will encourage staff bonding and give them the opportunity to learn and discuss new standard operating procedures before having to put them into real-life scenarios in training.

Exercise #3: Tabletop Exercise

Once new procedures have been established, having a tabletop exercise gives key personnel the opportunity to discuss simulated scenarios based on the new plans. This is an informal environment used to assess how the new plans might work in real time.

Exercise #4: Games

Breaking staff into two or more teams, this is a competitive activity depicting a real life scenario. Rules, data, and procedure are used to give staff a clear understanding of new plans and policies that will help them maximize efficiency in an emergency situation.

Games can help the directors of different areas within the facility identify where more training is needed within their staff to help them become more familiar and capable with their role in an emergency situation.

Operations-Based Exercises

Operations exercises validate plans set in place and identify any issues that may arise within a plan.

Exercise #5: Drills

Drills are used to conduct a specific operations test. These drills might be coordinated with first responders to determine how a real life scenario might play out in the event of an emergency situation like hurricane flooding. Typically, the scenario is run with one single entity, with notice given to everyone involved and supervised by heads of department.

Exercise #6: Functional Exercise

While a functional exercise does not involve any outside participants, it does examine how coordination, control, and command between the facility and multi-agency coordination centers would work in an emergency situation. This exercise validates plans such as information exchange across agencies, resource distribution, etc, without incorporating any actual first responder behavior.

Exercise #7: Full Scale Exercise

This is a mock exercise involving participants from multi-agency coordination centers in multiple jurisdictions, and disciplines. Some of the participants might be from coordination centers, the fire and police departments, and officials at the local, state, and federal level. In this type of exercise mock victims will be used in order to give a real world trial of plans set in place for emergency situations.

With these seven exercises you can ensure your entire staff will be able to demonstrate the knowledge they need for your facility to be in compliance with the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule. Remember, in order to be fully compliant in training areas, you must have documentation of completed training.

Brightgray Solutions can help you plan and prepare for your plans, policies, and procedures for emergency situations. Contact us today for more information on our WatchPoint AtRisk Registry and how it can be an essential part of your emergency preparedness plan.

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