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Hospital Preparedness Exercises Guidebook

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

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Part II: HSEEP Exercise Methodology

Chapter 4. Overview of HSEEP Exercise Methodology

Part II of this guidebook is an overview of HSEEP exercise methodology, consisting of five phases:

  • Foundation (Chapter 5): Laying groundwork for an exercise.
  • Design and Development (Chapter 6): Planning and preparing for an exercise and evaluation of that exercise.
  • Conduct (Chapter 7): Execution of the exercise.
  • Evaluation (Chapter 8): Assessing the exercise.
  • Improvement Planning (Chapter 9): Using lessons learned from the exercise to improve the emergency management program.

These phases are meant to be a cycle, with the next exercise being based on lessons learned and improvements made from previous exercises.

Before a hospital can enter the exercise cycle and begin planning for an exercise, it is necessary to have established an emergency management program. This includes components previously mentioned, such as completing the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA) and training hospital employees in the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).

Note: This guidebook provides the basics of HSEEP methodology but does not provide all the information for full HSEEP compliance. The HSEEP Web site at has more information as well as an online toolkit for exercises and for creating HSEEP compliant documentation of those exercises. This online toolkit is available by requesting login access through HSEEP.

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