It might be cold and rainy in Dallas, Texas today, but it’s hot inside the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas! Here, hundreds of hospital administrators, emergency preparedness coordinators, RNs and other healthcare professionals are attending AHEPP 2017, an annual event sponsored by the Association of Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Professionals.

As expected, everyone (presenters, attendees and vendors alike) are talking about the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule, which takes effect next week – November 15, 2017. A number of conference sessions are aimed at helping healthcare organizations receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding meet the ruling’s four basic requirements for Emergency Plan, Policies and Procedures, Communications, and Training and Testing.

Among these sessions is today’s keynote presentation (4-5 pm CDT, Salon D,E,F) to be given by Caecilia Blondioux of CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), and sponsored by BOLDplanning, a leader in online planning software, including Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) and Continuity of Operations Plans (COOPs). BOLDplanning is also exhibiting on the conference floor and holding a drawing for a personal drone.

Aside from connecting with peers, everyone looks to be enjoying (and learning from) the many activities, including the tabletop exercises, that are currently underway.

Folks are also being urged to “tweet up a storm,” by following @AHEPP1 and using the hashtag AHEPP2017, as prizes will be awarded to conference attendees with the most tweets. (Who says social media is all bad?)

That’s the word from the floor at AHEPP 2017.