Infectious Disease Readiness

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)’s Communicable Disease Preparedness Program works to ensure citywide readiness for Ebola virus disease (EVD) and other special pathogens transmissible from person to person. New York City is an international crossroads and disease outbreaks anywhere in the world can make their way here. There is a continuous need for healthcare facilities and emergency medical services to maintain readiness to prevent, detect and respond to pathogens of public health concern. The tools and guidance documents found on this page are designed to help healthcare systems prepare to safely and successfully identify, isolate, assess, transport, and treat patients with a suspected or confirmed special pathogen.


An effective method to promote best practices in screening, isolation and infection control in the acute care setting is to conduct unannounced “mystery patient drills” (MPDs). The following materials comprise a toolkit for hospitals, healthcare networks and health departments to facilitate designing, conducting and evaluating these MPDs.

To obtain any of the following resources in a modifiable format, please contact

  • MPD Toolkit PowerPoint (PDF) is an introductory presentation giving an overview of the program and how to conduct the drills.
  • Optional Staff Training on Screening and Isolation Protocols (PDF): In order to prepare your facility’s staff to protect themselves and their patients, your organization might consider training staff on your screening, isolation and infection control protocols. Training can be provided to staff based on their role and likelihood of contact with patients. You can also reference this Essential Staff Training Terminology (PDF) document. Your facility may wish to use this training course designed by DOHMH to provide healthcare facility staff with an overview on how to identify and protect staff and patients from transmission of severe communicable diseases such as Ebola. Once you have registered for an account on the learning management system, you can search for the course name: Essential Staff Training for Infection Control.
  • MPD Overview and Checklist (PDF): Provides a one page overview and a checklist to help you prepare to conduct your MPD(s).
  • MPD ExPlan and Exercise Evaluation Guide (EEG) (PDF): Provides templates for the MPD exercise plan and evaluation guide. This can be modified based on individual organizational needs. Modifications you might make to the EEG should be reflected in the MPD Template After-Action Report to be used post-MPD.
  • MPD After-Action Report (PDF): Provides a means to report the detailed findings of your conducted drill. It includes a template improvement plan which details corrective actions, responsible parties and a timeline for completion based on MPD findings. 
Additional resources for screening, isolation and infection control in acute care settings: