With the new emergency preparedness rule now applicable across the board, CMS is now checking up on all applicable agencies to ensure that they are in compliance. Failure to meet these requirements now comes with real consequences.
Disaster hit, and your patients need to be evacuated to other facilities. Mobile patients, critically ill patients, patients requiring monitoring, dialysis, IV fluids, or impeccably timed drugs. Newborn patients. Patients who are actively dying, surrounded by their grieving families. All of them. They all need to find their way to someplace safe.
Creating an effective communication plan for your healthcare agency in case of an emergency isn’t just a best practice, it’s a requirement of doing business.
With wildfires becoming increasingly volatile due to the unpredictable nature of the Santa Ana winds, the Ojai Valley Community Hospital decided to proactively transfer 48 of their patients who were unable to walk in case of an emergency evacuation. 28 mobile patients remained at the hospital. This action was taken in close collaboration with the local fire department, which indicated that the situation was extremely fluid and could impact the area unexpectedly.
You’re familiar with the new regulations requiring healthcare facilities to have an emergency preparedness plan. You know that part of that plan is a risk assessment, using an “all hazards” approach. But what does “all hazards” mean?
In 2017, healthcare facilities around the nation have been faced with a wide range of natural disasters and emergencies.
It has always been important for organizations that provide healthcare to vulnerable populations to have a strong emergency communications plan. Nursing homes, hospitals, and other long term care providers have often had emergency plans that range from informal to strictly regimented. Everyone is always grateful for the years that lack any sort of natural disaster or regional crisis, but that doesn’t mean anyone should become lax in ensuring that their emergency communications plan is thorough, up to date, easy to access, and simple to implement.
The WatchPoint AtRisk Registry enables medical providers to communicate up-to-date information on vulnerable patients during natural disasters or emergency situations to local/state/federal disaster management officials. Vulnerable patients include those on life-support, homebound patients, disabled and elderly, and those with special needs. There are two ways that the WatchPoint AtRisk Registry can be used by medical providers: event-driven or through active registry.
During any kind of widespread emergency, medical care facilities and agencies may have to facilitate the evacuation, transportation, and continuing care of many vulnerable patients.
Emergency planning for vulnerable patients- the elderly, those who need life-saving equipment, or special needs patients- is no small feat. Given the constantly changing level of care and addition and release of patients, emergency planning is not something that can be done once a year and be left alone. It must be constantly updated and monitored. Brightgray offers WatchPoint, a cloud-based software, as a solution to seamlessly communicate during a disaster.
This year there have been multiple natural disasters that have been bigger than we have seen in the United States in decades. We’ve encountered enormous hurricanes, raging wildfires, and earthquakes, all of which have shown us a stark reminder of why we have emergency plans set in place to deal with these things.
Decades ago, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma would have been considered 100 year storms. But did you know Harvey and Irma happened within a month of one another.
An important part of complying with CMS’s emergency preparedness rule is maintaining an up-to-date communication plan. In the healthcare industry, patients are constantly changing status, whether they move to a different level of care within the facility or they leave the care facility altogether. Also, new patients arrive at facilities on a daily basis.
Fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods, these disastrous situations have recently been at the forefront of our news. In addition to current events, new federal regulations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will soon require care providers to adopt a comprehensive emergency preparation plan for both manmade and natural disasters. The regulations will provide consistent emergency preparedness requirements, with the intent of improving patient safety and increasing survivability during and after a disaster situation.
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Corpus Christi, Texas – bringing not only devastating winds and storm surge, but also massive, record-breaking rainfalls. The final tally reached 51.88 inches that flooded thousands of square miles, displacing thousands of people, some of whom were in medical care facilities.
Developing an emergency preparedness plan is not just a good idea - it’s required. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule lays out a complicated array of standards from the Federal Register. Now’s the time to ensure your disaster plan is comprehensive, organized, and fully in compliance.
Effective November 15, 2017, 17 specific supplier and provider types are impacted by the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule. The new rule establishes national emergency preparedness requirements to ensure that natural and manmade disasters can be adequately planned for and coordinated with a variety of emergency preparedness systems, including federal, state, tribal, regional, and local systems.
Effective November 15, 2017, all Medicare providers and suppliers should have an emergency preparedness plan for natural as well as human-made disasters.