Not All Emergency Plans Are Created Equal

If you’re a hospital or long-term care facility manager, you’re probably sick and tired of hearing about emergency response plans and the CMS rule. Sorry, I’m going to talk about it some more. Because it really is that important.
The 190+ pages of CMS rules are not just a scare tactic, they mean business. We’ve talked about this before. And we mean it.
 
But, you may say, you have a plan already. Why can’t you just use the one you have? The one you’ve had for years?
 
You may be able to. But it definitely needs to be taken off the shelf, dusted off, and updated. Let’s take a look at some of the areas you need to address to be compliant.
 
The actual plan. Understanding what is required in the plan is important. You need a risk assessment, for example. “The risk assessment process will determine the capabilities you need to respond to emergencies and help you determine the policies and procedures you need to have, and guide the creation of your Emergency Operations Plan.”
 
Implementing the plan. Once you have an idea of the risks and hazards specific to your organization, you need to develop some standard operating procedures on what happens when the plan is implemented. Who is going to do what?
 
The sharing of the plan. The next step, which goes hand in hand with implementation, is communication. When an administrator receives a plan, they then need to figure out how to make it work. From staffing schedules to the number of immobile patients to the specific needs of those patients, everything needs to be coordinated. Communication, as always, is key.
 
The testing of the plan. After the plan is complete, or even while you’re still polishing it, you need to test the plan. You have a little bit of leeway here with how you choose to do it, but you must do it. This is the moment of truth when the plan will work, or won’t. Then you’re either polishing and putting it back on the shelf or making some big changes. Either way, it’s important to do this before you need it.
 
Can you confidently say yes to all of these areas? Is your plan really ready to go? Are you willing to let them come audit? If you hesitated to answer any of these questions, then let’s chat. Run your plan by us, let’s talk about what you may be forgetting. We’re also ready to help you start your plan from scratch. So what are you waiting for?

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