AAAHC Publishes Updated Toolkit on Emergency Drills


AAAHC Publishes Updated Toolkit on Emergency Drills

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) of Deerfield, Illinois, released its updated Emergency Drills Toolkit, which educates ambulatory healthcare organizations on how to prepare before an actual disaster occurs. The toolkit provides guidance on conducting and evaluating emergency drill processes and procedures that help primary care and surgical/procedural organizations meet AAAHC standards, according to a release.

Vital to emergency preparedness in the ambulatory setting, emergency drills or simulations can effectively prepare organizations for such emergencies by ingraining appropriate behaviors in all relevant staff. The toolkit also offers insight on the multiple types of emergencies that can occur in the ambulatory healthcare setting, the release states.

“The updated toolkit highlights the three main pillars of emergency preparedness planning—development, performance, and evaluation,” said Julie Lynch, director of the Institute for Quality Improvement at AAAHC, in the release. “In an unpredictable environment, it is crucial for all ambulatory organizations to address the many possible emergency scenarios—from natural disasters to sudden staff illness and more. The toolkit further emphasizes the importance of teamwork and evaluation in helping to reduce errors and allow for further improvements.”

Key elements of the Emergency Drills Toolkit that will help organizations prepare for the worst include:

  1. Highlighting the types of risks the drill is intended to address
  2. Assessing existing internal emergency and disaster preparedness plans
  3. Incorporating recommended communications to inform all participants that the drill will be happening
  4. Performing the drill as if it were a real-life emergency
  5. Evaluating the performance of all team members at the completion of the drill
  6. Creating and implementing a corrective action plan as relevant

During the evaluation process, document all steps and identify areas of weakness that need improvement to meet specific standard requirements and boost overall efficiency, the release emphasizes. The toolkit provides organizations with a sample checklist and timeline for measuring performance throughout drills.

“In all of our work, we emphasize survey readiness and the importance of following proven processes to ensure both patient and staff safety,” said Noel Adachi, president and chief executive officer of AAAHC, in the release. “The Emergency Drills Toolkit uniquely underscores our commitment to '1095 Strong, quality every day' very directly—in short, teams must be prepared to handle unforeseen circumstances at a moment’s notice, and this tool provides them the resources to both build and improve upon their procedures.”

Learn more about the various AAAHC toolkits.