Ohio Department of Health Medical Surge 2019 Functional Exercise


Ohio hospitals use SimulationDeck to practice communications strategies that will help keep some of their tiniest, most vulnerable patients safe.

  • The Challenge

    Functional exercises provide a unique opportunity to exercise plans, policies, and procedures. However, without intentional planning, these exercises can lack an engaging way to effectively test public information capabilities. For their severe weather and pediatric medical surge exercise scenario, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) wanted a way to effectively challenge hospital public information teams across with the added complexities and challenges of social and traditional media engagement.

  • The Approach

    During this exercise scenario, a tornado hit a hospital and required the transportation of hundreds of patients to regional hospitals. To add realism to the exercise, ODH turned to SimulationDeck to provide an engaging platform for ODH and four participating hospitals to disseminate public information, alerts, warnings, and perform other critical crisis communications functions.

    During the half-day exercise, Nusura subject matter experts represented members of the public, concerned hospital patients and their loved ones, journalists, and other interested parties. The team posted content such as news stories, blogs, social media posts and other content onto the SimulationDeck platform.

  • The Results

    This content challenged more than a dozen hospital communicators and executive leadership teams to provide timely and accurate information to address hundreds of questions, rumors, and comments on simulated social media platforms. The participating hospitals worked together with ODH to coordinate messages and to respond to rumors and media inquiries in a realistic, high-pressure, real-time exercise environment. As a result, these teams are now more prepared to work together and provide effective information in a real crisis.