Joint Commission: How to plan an active shooter drill for your hospital

Shootings occur in hospitals every year, and a blog post from the Joint Commission provides advice on how hospitals can plan active shooter drills.

Five tips from the Joint Commission:

1. Involve law enforcement in the planning and execution of active shooter drills. Police can provide feedback and assist in crafting emergency plans. Hospitals should especially consider how they will communicate with law enforcement during the event, grant law enforcement access to the building and coordinate evacuation plans for critical patients requiring police escort.

2. Hold drills in unused areas of the hospital, or areas under renovation. Warn everyone ahead of time of an impending drill and educate them on the upcoming procedure.

3. Use the three Cs of community disaster preparedness: communicate, coordinate and collaborate. These elements can help a hospital respond to both a community shooter event and an active shooter in the hospital itself.

4. Ensure your hospital's compliance with standard EM.03.01.03, which requires hospitals to hold drills twice a year at each site included in the emergency plan, among other things.

5. Decide where to store in case of emergency boxes containing items such as floor plans, contact information and access cards. Determine how the hospital will notify those in the building of the emergency and provide updates.

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