Hospital Readiness for Likely Threats: CMS Emergency Preparedness

by | Apr 11, 2017

white-vans-flood-hazard-vulnerability-analysis-hva-200x133What is your hospital’s level of emergency preparedness for the hazards most likely to occur in your community? Hospitals are required to conduct a hazard vulnerability analysis (HVA) and review it at least annually. An HVA allows a hospital to systematically identify threats that may require emergency preparedness and response. The likelihood of each hazard as faced by your facility can help you to prioritize your emergency planning, mitigation, response and recovery.

Ensuring hospital readiness for the threats identified in a hazard vulnerability analysis requires more than ensuring that your facility has a plan. The CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule also requires that you coordinate and participate in full-scale exercises with emergency preparedness officials to ensure a coordinated disaster response for your community.

Case study: A hospital prepared for likely hazards

As a member of its regional advisory council’s hospital preparedness program and a LiveProcess customer, a large pediatric trauma center in Texas is well prepared for the hazards that are most likely to occur in its area, which include hurricanes and pandemics.

Only weeks after its LiveProcess Emergency Manager implementation, the hospital put the emergency management platform to the test during two hurricanes — Gustav and Ike, one of the top 10 most destructive hurricanes to make landfall in the US.

Just before Gustav hit, the hospital’s emergency management staff decided to use LiveProcess for all of its hospital incident command (HICS) communications. The hospital command center (HCC) staff would use LiveProcess to communicate with each other in real-time, load and share documents, and track the storm.

When Ike hit and area residents braced for the worst, the hospital’s safety and emergency management personnel sprang into action while its medical transport teams coordinated with state emergency preparedness officials and neighboring hospitals.

Shuttered hospitals in coastal areas forced a surge of patients inland. Over 16 hours, the hospital’s team transported 400 patients — including 50 newborns — out of harm’s way.

Pandemics such as influenza and Zika virus are another type of likely threat for which hospitals need to be well prepared. The preparation paid off when this hospital handled a surge of pediatric patients in its emergency room and alternate care site (ACS) during the H1N1 (swine flu) influenza pandemic. Tracking a variety of data such as emergency department totals and influenza-like illness volumes in its hospital command center allowed the hospital command center staff to track statistics, monitor supply inventories, and centralize pandemic information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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What’s next?

What are your healthcare organization’s likely threats? Learn more about how LiveProcess clients prepare for hazards in case studies in our Resources section.

Next blog post: Policies and Procedures for Continuity: CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule

 

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terry-zysk-100x100Terry Zysk, CEO of LiveProcess, has more than two decades of experience in leading organizations that provide innovative solutions to the healthcare industry.