Emergency Operations Plan

Emergency Management

Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)

Hospitals are required to have an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) which describes how a facility will respond to and recover from all hazards. It is inclusive of the six critical elements within the Joint Commission’s Emergency Management Standards:

  • Communications
  • Resources and assets
  • Safety and security
  • Staff responsibilities
  • Utilities
  • Clinical support activities

The “all hazards” approach allows ability to respond to a range of emergencies varying in scale, duration, and cause. The EOP addresses response procedures, capabilities and procedures when the hospital can not be supported by the community, recovery strategies, initiating and terminating response and recovery phases, activating authority and identifies alternate sites for care, treatment and services.

The Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) provides the structure and processes that the organization utilizes to respond to and initially recover from an event. The EOP is therefore the response and recovery component of the EMP. 

The Joint Commission Emergency Management Standards are very specific to the requirements of the hospital EOP, however it should be noted that some of these requirements cross over to mitigation and preparedness activities. For a suggested outline of the Emergency Management Program and for further guidance, see the following

California Hospital Association

Wildfires, landslides and influenza surge are only some of the incidents to hit California hospitals this past year.  The initial response to an emergency begins with recognition that an incident may (or has) occurred. 

In cases where the incident is likely to impact or disrupt routine operations, and may require coordination of efforts and response involvement among hospitals, Health Care Coalition partners, EMS, public health, and environmental health.

Key management issues involving situational status, incident characteristics and resource capabilities must be quickly determined and communicated amongst response partners in order to establish a common operating picture. 

CHA’s Hospital Preparedness Program has developed a tool to help hospitals activate their Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) in the Hospital Activation of the Emergency Operations Plan Checklist with step-by-step instructions for activation and Hospital Incident Command System (HICSi) roles.  

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)

This assessment tool was developed to assist hospitals in revising and updating existing disaster plans or in the development of new plans. The tool was originally used by a subject matter expert survey team to collect data for a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant so it is constructed in a survey format. The data was then used to develop a specialized instruction program for that facility that addressed any areas needing improvements. We feel this assessment tool can also be utilized in a self-assessment format by the institution in the review of their disaster plans.

Download the Hospital Disaster Preparedness Self-Assessment Tool

There is no one standard format for an Emergency Management Program (EMP). The Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is one component of the EMP. This tool provides guidance for hospitals regarding the components included in an EMP.