Natural disasters, like floods, storms, and earthquakes, can strike at any time without warning and disrupt our normal lives. Being prepared can help protect your organization, those you care for and your community during an emergency.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires organizations to have updated emergency preparedness plans in place to help ensure the organization is ready to respond effectively in the event of emergencies or disasters. These plans typically outline procedures for responding to a range of emergencies, such as natural disasters, industrial accidents, public health crises, and other threats. They may include measures for evacuation, communication, medical response and coordination with local emergency services. The goal is to minimize the impact of emergencies and protect the safety and well-being of those served or within the community.
Emergencies and disasters can strike anywhere and at any time bringing workplace injuries and illnesses with them. Employers and workers may be required to deal with an emergency when it is least expected and proper planning before an emergency is necessary to respond effectively. From having a system in place to properly identify and prevent potential disasters to having a strategy for handling the response and recovery, every step in emergency management matters. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters.
Great Plains QIN has created a comprehensive document with resources, templates and checklists that may be helpful for long-term care facilities developing and updating emergency preparedness plans.
“As your organization is developing or reviewing your emergency preparedness plan, we encourage you to refer to these national and state-based tools as they can can be useful in helping you prepare for an emergency,” shared Jennifer Everson, RN, BSN, MHA, CPHQ; Great Plains QIN Quality Improvement Advisor.