Looking back so we can look forward

This year brought much turmoil to the world. Politics merged with natural disasters and several budget crises and on some days, it seemed like the sky was falling. But as we look back on 2017 and the collective response to disasters in the US, we can learn quite a bit.

What went well?

In a nutshell, the best thing to happen this year so far was the implementation of the CMS Emergency Preparedness Conditions of Participation. Now we are just waiting to see what the consequences will be and how they will be enforced. But, as we’ve seen in the past, creating a national standard makes things easier. Easier to communicate, easier to provide mutual aid, easier to exercise.
 
We know that not everyone has made it through the entire process of compliance, but as they say, the first step is awareness. We also say, “Better late than never,” and want to encourage you to get started now! Take our free consultation survey to get started.

What went wrong?

This year we found out just how much nursing homes weren’t prepared, for anything really. This NPR piece from September shows just how underprepared nursing home are, for most emergencies. We saw this time and again this year, from Hurricane Irma to a fire in Pennsylvania. Some of the things that were brought up throughout the year:
 
  • In one visit last May, inspectors found that an El Paso, Texas, the nursing home had no plan for how to bring wheelchair-dependent people down the stairs in case of an evacuation.
  • Inspectors in Colorado found a nursing home’s courtyard gate locked and that employees did not know the combination, records show.
  • During a fire at a Chicago facility, residents were evacuated in the wrong order, starting with the people farthest from the blaze.

What do we need to focus on for 2018?

The team here at Crisis Prevention & Response has spent most of the year focused on the changes mandated by the government regarding health care preparedness. We’re planning to do the same in 2018, helping more facilities become compliant and doing our part in protecting those who may not be able to fend for themselves during a disaster.
 
We will also be working with regional healthcare coalitions, supporting their efforts in planning, training, and exercises.
 
2018 can be a better year for healthcare patients and staff. For those facilities who practice preparedness, there will be an increase in profitability as well as patient and staff satisfaction. Where are you in this preparedness journey?
Categories: CMS Compliance | Healthcare
Topics: CMS, LTC, Preparedness

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