We wrote about the new Conditions of Participation and subsequent Emergency Preparedness Plan for home care agencies in previous posts. Your organization must have all plans in place and all drills completed by November 15, 2017. If you have not begun the process, you are not alone.
QIRT experts have created an Emergency Preparedness Checklist to support agencies in the home care industry. Remember, completing this new Emergency Preparedness Plan (EP) for your home care agency is not an easy charge and the time to finish it is now. Use caution when preparing for this change. To date, the Emergency Preparedness Plan is the ONLY task out of all new Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for which home health surveyors have been trained on. It is certain that this will be a primary focus of any surveys on or after November 15, 2017. It is very likely that Condition Level Citations for these standards will be issued for those found not in compliance. There is also a significant risk for Immediate Jeopardy findings as a result of the risk of patient safety with non-compliance.
While not all-inclusive, we offer you a few tips that your home care agency can use to begin a checklist.
Emergency Preparedness Checklist
- Do your homework. Read the rule, seek out expert advice when needed.
- Complete a risk assessment. Your risk assessment MUST be written with associated strategies.
- Contact community.
- Write policies and procedures for the entire Emergency Plan.
- Names and contact numbers for community resources
- Communication plans and sharing of information
- Staffing strategies
- Assure orientation plans for employees and contract staff include EP
- Evacuation Procedure
- Outline of surrounding facilities and/or agencies with transfer arrangements in place, if needed
- Protection of Records
- Remember your patients as individuals. Be sure each patient has a well thought out and individualized Emergency Plan documented as part of the patient’s comprehensive assessment.
- Complete the EP drills now. Be sure to complete the ‘table top’ exercise and a full-scale drill before November 15, 2017.
In conclusion, if you have not started planning for the new CoPs, this checklist is the place to start…immediately. Home health agencies have a challenging road ahead of us. Getting past this next 12 months will be interesting. If your organization has not started preparation yet, you are behind.
If you need help, contact us.