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NYU Langone Health Enterprise-wide Full-scale Disaster Exercise 

NYU Langone Health’s Radiation Safety staff conducting readings for radiation contamination
Photo courtesy of NYU Langone Health
Tetra Tech collaborated with NYU Langone Health’s Emergency Management + Enterprise Resilience (EM+ER) Team to conceive, design, execute, and evaluate a complex multi-day, multi-facility mass casualty exercise in New York City.

Tetra Tech provided critical resources and expertise to conduct an enterprise-wide, full-scale disaster response exercise including an executive-level tabletop exercise (TTX) and four full-scale mass casualty incident response (MCI) and decontamination exercises. The exercise also included facilitated discussions evaluating how each of the four health care facilities would handle more numerous and serious casualties. Tetra Tech exercise evaluation staff supported the executive level TTX. The full-scale decontamination and MCI response exercises occurred in October 2017 simultaneously at four locations: Tisch Hospital, NYULH-Brooklyn, NYULH-Orthopedic Hospital, and Cobble Hill Emergency Department. Tetra Tech provided site directors, controller and evaluators, and facilitated Hot Wash discussions and After Action Reviews for each of the full-scale exercise sites.

The integration of Tetra Tech’s team with NYU Langone Health’s EM+ER team was key to the success of these exercises. Working within an expedited planning timeframe of less than six weeks, Tetra Tech coordinated multiple client engagement platforms, including in-person meetings, weekly virtual meetings, and daily phone contact. Tetra Tech produced all required exercise documentation as well as non-traditional exercise information materials and recruitment flyers. Tetra Tech also adhered to system-wide branding standards to produce customized materials to support exercise facilitation, participation, and evaluation. These materials included actor and volunteer recruitment flyers and registration surveys; actor and volunteer orientation materials; actor scripts; situation briefs for participants; executive briefing materials; and an exercise plan, a controller and evaluator guide, and formal floor plans for three NYU Langone Health facility MCI plans.

Tetra Tech’s team also compiled and prepared custom after action reports and improvement plans (AAR/IP), which provided an integrated assessment of the multiple exercises and sites and analyzed exercised plans and capabilities focusing on key events, decisions made, and actions taken.

The exercise series successfully evaluated preparedness and satisfied Joint Commission and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness requirements. It provided a platform for participating facilities to practice information sharing, skill application (decontamination), and operational planning based on a complex and plausible scenario for a large metropolitan area. The exercises also provided a forum for strategic discussion around next steps, actions to move forward during recovery, and prioritization and resource management.

For the 2017 Enterprise Disaster Exercise Program, we needed an experienced and skilled team of healthcare emergency management professionals to accomplish a hugely ambitious and complex project on a very tight timeframe. We were fortunate that we found that team with Tetra Tech. They impressed us right from the start, plugging in immediately to drive the project schedule and deliver the right information and resources to the right place at the right time. The positive energy and ‘can do’ attitude of the Tetra Tech team allowed us to meet our deadlines and to meet the expectations of demanding stakeholders all across our dynamic healthcare enterprise. The support we received from Tetra Tech was critically important to the success of this important endeavor.
Kelly R. McKinney, PE, CBCP, Senior Director, Emergency Management + Enterprise Resilience NYU Langone Health
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