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Member Forum: Health Center: Episodes of Amazing Care

Emergency Management | NIMS Compliance
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What is NIMS?

NIMS stands for … National Incident Management System.

NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents.

On February 28, 2003, President Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5.  HSPD-5 directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Do we have to be NIMS compliant as a CHC/FQHC?

While it is not a requirement for health centers at this time, compliance with NIMS is strongly encouraged by HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC). 

As you continue your collaborative efforts in building relationships with State, local and community entities to enhance your overall emergency readiness, NIMS will prove to be an important part in understanding the common language and standards that these other entities will be following.  Where will you fit into the overall plan in an emergency?

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What does being NIMS compliant mean?

For a list of the 14* elements required for NIMS compliance for health care organizations, please click on the following link: NIMS Implementation Objectives for Health Care Organizations

[*Note: In the original “NIMS Implementation Activities for Hospitals and Healthcare Systems” document, there were 17 elements required for NIMS compliance.  However, according to FEMA, that list has recently been revised based on recommendations from a healthcare working group that was convened to tailor existing State and local metrics to healthcare organizations.  The original 17 elements have been streamlined to 14 objectives for FY08.]

For answers to other questions you might have regarding NIMS compliance, please click on the following link: NIMS Implementation Activities for Hospitals and Healthcare Systems FAQs

What are the benefits of NIMS?

The benefits of the NIMS system will be significant:Quote Box

  • Standardized organizational structures, processes and procedures
  • Standards for planning, training and exercising
  • Personnel qualification standards
  • Equipment acquisition and certification standards
  • Interoperable communications processes, procedures and systems
  • Information management systems with a commonly accepted architecture
  • Supporting technologies – voice and data communications systems
  • Publication management processes and activities

With all the NIMS courses that are available, what training would you recommended for a CHC/FQHC?

IS-100.HC Introduction to the ICS for Healthcare/Hospitals
(Click on link to access training information)

Description: ICS 100 introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) as it applies to the healthcare/hospital environment and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Audience: ICS-100 should be completed by the hospital personnel that would have a direct role in emergency preparedness, incident management, and/or emergency response during an incident. Personnel designated to fulfill ICS roles (i.e. hospital emergency manager, hospital administration, department heads) should complete ICS-100, though additional participants may include the following hospital and healthcare systems staffs:

IS-200.HC Applying ICS to Healthcare Organizations
(Click on link to access training information)

Description: ICS 200.HC is designed to enable healthcare/hospital personnel to operate efficiently during an incident or event within the Incident Command System (ICS). ICS-200 provides training on and resources for personnel who are likely to assume a supervisory position within the ICS.

Audience: ICS-200.HC should be completed by personnel whose primary responsibility is emergency management, to include (at a minimum) middle management within a hospital or healthcare system. Middle management may refer to physicians, department managers, unit leaders, charge nurses, and any staff (i.e. hospital administration) that would have a role in an emergency operations center (hospital, local, or state).

IS-700 National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction
(Click on link to access training information)

Description: This course introduces NIMS and explains the purpose, principles, key components and benefits of NIMS. The course also contains "Planning Activity" screens giving you an opportunity to complete some planning tasks during this course. The planning activity screens are printable so that you can use them after you complete the course.

IS-800.A National Response Framework (NRF), an Introduction
(Click on link to access training information)

Description: The National Response Framework, or NRF, specifies how resources of the Federal Government will work in concert with state, local, and tribal governments, as well as the private sector to respond to Incidents of National Significance. The NRF is predicated on the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Together, NRF and NIMS provide a nationwide template for working together to prevent or respond to threats and incidents regardless of cause, size, or complexity.

Where can I go for NIMS training?

Once registered, you can sign up for the Incident Management System (IMS) on-line courses referred to above.

Where does NIMS fit into the overall CHC/FQHC compliance standards?

A chart is in the process of being revised to show all the various Federal mandates and State guidelines to which you are either required or encouraged to comply.  (Check back for a link to the chart.)

For more information about this program, please contact:
Jason Bundy
Emergency Management Program Director
Indiana Primary Health Care Association
Phone: (317) 630-0845
Fax:     (317) 630-0849