Start Here: Hospital CMS Emergency Preparedness
You may be feeling overwhelmed by the hospital CMS Emergency Preparedness requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers issued last year. CMS expects all healthcare providers affected by this rule to comply by November 16, 2017.
Not only is the timeframe short, but the task looms large. Preparation for successful hospital emergency management is complicated — but manageable. Let’s start by breaking hospital emergency preparedness into the four required elements:
- Emergency plan
- Policies and procedures
- Communications plan
- Training and testing
The first element is preparedness planning: development of your emergency management plan. And a comprehensive emergency management plan consists of at least three parts:
- An Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) — An EOP describes how your organization and partners will respond to and recover from a disaster or emergency event.
- A Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) — A COOP helps ensure the continuity of patient care during a longer-term event.
- A Crisis Communications Plan — A crisis communication plan enables medical professionals and emergency response personnel to maintain communications and coordinate activities throughout a crisis situation.
So where do you start? Here are a few key steps:
- Identify risks and hazards: Hazard vulnerability analysis (HVA) helps hospitals self-assess readiness to respond to four incident categories: natural disasters, infrastructure failures, security risks and mass casualty events. For each hazard that is relevant to your facility, you will identify the human, property and business impact and the likelihood of the hazard.
- Prepare your team members: Job action sheets (JAS) are developed in compliance with the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) to guide the incident commander and other team members by outlining specific steps that should be taken by each role in response to each type of emergency event.
- Understand your resources and prepare your contacts database: A contacts database will store a ready-list of all essential personnel inside and outside the hospital for use during an emergency. Contact information should include skillsets, licenses, certifications and cross-trained skills as well as multiple modes of reaching someone (i.e., text, email, cellphone, landline). Messages and responses can be prepared in advance to individuals and groups. Beyond your facility, contacts should include resources such as suppliers, first responders, neighboring hospitals, local emergency preparedness officials, your state public health department and other coalition and community partners.
- Set up training exercises and drills: Training exercises test the emergency operations plan to identify gaps for improvement and to prepare new and existing personnel for readiness. There’s no need to build these from scratch; you can start with editable drills for discussion-based scenarios and live role-playing exercises.
- FAQs from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (PDF)
- LiveProcess delivers on CMS emergency preparedness rule for hospitals.
- Continuity of Operations (COOP) for Healthcare Organizations
This post is part of a series on the CMS emergency preparedness rule. I encourage you to explore the following:
- Are You Ready for the CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule?
- Start Here: Hospital CMS Emergency Preparedness
- CMS Emergency Preparedness Regulations Overview
- All-Hazards Approach: Risk Assessment for CMS Rule
- Hospital Readiness for Likely Threats: CMS Emergency Preparedness
- Policies and Procedures for Continuity: CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule
- Communication Plan, Collaboration and Continuity: CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule
- Emergency Preparedness Training and Testing: CMS Rule
- Planning for Collaboration: CMS Emergency Preparedness
- CMS Home Health Emergency Preparedness