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How to Conduct your Training and Test Your Emergency Preparedness Plan

By Craig Long - March 27, 2018

Are you 100% confident that your staff could handle a major emergency if it happened today? If not, it’s time to test your emergency preparedness plan. A trial run can reveal important areas where work is still needed.

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Implementing an Effective CMS Emergency Communications Plan

By Craig Long - March 20, 2018

You’ve spent countless hours developing a new emergency plan. But if the communications portion of your plan is lacking, it’s not quite ready for prime time yet.

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Creating a Risk Assessment for your Long Term Care Facility

By Craig Long - March 13, 2018

Long-term care facilities are at high risk during disasters. They’re especially vulnerable because of their reliance on electricity, internet access, medical supplies, and trained personnel. Within moments of a crisis, patient health can plunge.

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CMS Emergency Preparedness Template For Home Health

By Craig Long - March 6, 2018


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Consulting Help for CMS Emergency Preparedness Survey Deficiencies

By Craig Long - February 27, 2018

With the new emergency preparedness rules now in full swing, CMS surveys are charging ahead. If you are like most healthcare providers, you’ve probably come out with a mixed bag of results: you’re strong in some areas, but have a significant number of deficiencies in others.

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Are You Prepared for Your CMS Survey?

By Craig Long - February 13, 2018

With the new emergency preparedness rule now applicable across the board, CMS is now checking up on all applicable agencies to ensure that they are in compliance. Failure to meet these requirements now comes with real consequences.

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Software Solution for CMS Emergency Preparedness Communication Plan

By Craig Long - January 29, 2018

It happened.

Disaster hit, and your patients need to be evacuated to other facilities. Mobile patients, critically ill patients, patients requiring monitoring, dialysis, IV fluids, or impeccably timed drugs. Newborn patients. Patients who are actively dying, surrounded by their grieving families. All of them. They all need to find their way to someplace safe.

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7 Things Your Emergency Preparedness Communication Plan Needs

By Craig Long - January 22, 2018

Creating an effective communication plan for your healthcare agency in case of an emergency isn’t just a best practice, it’s a requirement of doing business.

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California Wildfires Show CMS Emergency Preparedness is Vital

By Craig Long - January 15, 2018

With wildfires becoming increasingly volatile due to the unpredictable nature of the Santa Ana winds, the Ojai Valley Community Hospital decided to proactively transfer 48 of their patients who were unable to walk in case of an emergency evacuation. 28 mobile patients remained at the hospital. This action was taken in close collaboration with the local fire department, which indicated that the situation was extremely fluid and could impact the area unexpectedly.

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Creating Your Risk Assessment for CMS Rule Compliance

By Craig Long - January 8, 2018

You’re familiar with the new regulations requiring healthcare facilities to have an emergency preparedness plan. You know that part of that plan is a risk assessment, using an “all hazards” approach. But what does “all hazards” mean?

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Emergency Management: How Healthcare Facilities Can Proactively Prepare For a Disaster

By Craig Long - December 26, 2017

In 2017, healthcare facilities around the nation have been faced with a wide range of natural disasters and emergencies.

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5 Strategies to Improve Your Organization's Emergency Communications Plan

By Craig Long - December 19, 2017

It has always been important for organizations that provide healthcare to vulnerable populations to have a strong emergency communications plan. Nursing homes, hospitals, and other long term care providers have often had emergency plans that range from informal to strictly regimented. Everyone is always grateful for the years that lack any sort of natural disaster or regional crisis, but that doesn’t mean anyone should become lax in ensuring that their emergency communications plan is thorough, up to date, easy to access, and simple to implement.

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7 Team Exercises to Prepare for the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule

By Craig Long - November 14, 2017


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CMS Rule: How WatchPoint AtRisk Registry Can Enable Medical Providers

By Craig Long - November 13, 2017

The WatchPoint AtRisk Registry enables medical providers to communicate up-to-date information on vulnerable patients during natural disasters or emergency situations to local/state/federal disaster management officials. Vulnerable patients include those on life-support, homebound patients, disabled and elderly, and those with special needs. There are two ways that the WatchPoint AtRisk Registry can be used by medical providers: event-driven or through active registry.

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Thousands of Patients Displaced During California Wildfires

By Craig Long - November 10, 2017

In early October 2017, a series of wildfires started burning across the state of California. In total, 8,176 fires have burned an estimated 1,079,569 acres. Additionally, an estimated 8,900 structures have been destroyed, and 42 lives lost.

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Here’s How WatchPoint’s AtRisk Registry Works

By Craig Long - November 6, 2017

During any kind of widespread emergency, medical care facilities and agencies may have to facilitate the evacuation, transportation, and continuing care of many vulnerable patients.

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WatchPoint’s Cloud-Based Solution Makes Coordinating AtRisk Patients Easier Than Ever

By Craig Long - October 23, 2017

Emergency planning for vulnerable patients-  the elderly, those who need life-saving equipment, or special needs patients- is no small feat. Given the constantly changing level of care and addition and release of patients, emergency planning is not something that can be done once a year and be left alone. It must be constantly updated and monitored. Brightgray offers WatchPoint, a cloud-based software, as a solution to seamlessly communicate during a disaster.

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Emergency Preparedness Guidance: Home Health and Hospice

By Craig Long - October 20, 2017

This year there have been multiple natural disasters that have been bigger than we have seen in the United States in decades. We’ve encountered enormous hurricanes, raging wildfires, and earthquakes, all of which have shown us a stark reminder of why we have emergency plans set in place to deal with these things.

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Hurricane Irma Gives Providers a Reality Check for Emergency Preparedness

By Craig Long - October 17, 2017

Decades ago, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma would have been considered 100 year storms. But did you know Harvey and Irma happened within a month of one another.

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4 Important Pieces of a Communication Plan for CMS Emergency Preparedness Compliance

By Craig Long - October 9, 2017

An important part of complying with CMS’s emergency preparedness rule is maintaining an up-to-date communication plan. In the healthcare industry, patients are constantly changing status, whether they move to a different level of care within the facility or they leave the care facility altogether. Also, new patients arrive at facilities on a daily basis.

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Preparation vs. Reaction: AtRisk Registry Allows Healthcare Providers to Prepare in Advance

By Craig Long - October 2, 2017

Fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods, these disastrous situations have recently been at the forefront of our news. In addition to current events, new federal regulations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will soon require care providers to adopt a comprehensive emergency preparation plan for both manmade and natural disasters. The regulations will provide consistent emergency preparedness requirements, with the intent of improving patient safety and increasing survivability during and after a disaster situation.

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Hurricane Harvey Proves Just How Important an Emergency Preparation Plan Is

By Craig Long - September 23, 2017

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Corpus Christi, Texas – bringing not only devastating winds and storm surge, but also massive, record-breaking rainfalls. The final tally reached 51.88 inches that flooded thousands of square miles, displacing thousands of people, some of whom were in medical care facilities.

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All-in-One Solution for Emergency Preparedness: WatchPoint AtRisk Registry

By Craig Long - August 17, 2017

Developing an emergency preparedness plan is not just a good idea - it’s required. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule lays out a complicated array of standards from the Federal Register. Now’s the time to ensure your disaster plan is comprehensive, organized, and fully in compliance.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Emergency Preparedness Definitions

By Craig Long - August 17, 2017

After November 15, 2017, care providers are to be in full compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule standards in the Federal Register. This means every agency must have an official disaster plan.

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17 Provider Types Impacted By the New CMS Rule

By Craig Long - August 4, 2017


Effective November 15, 2017, 17 specific supplier and provider types are impacted by the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule. The new rule establishes national emergency preparedness requirements to ensure that natural and manmade disasters can be adequately planned for and coordinated with a variety of emergency preparedness systems, including federal, state, tribal, regional, and local systems.

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New CMS Rules: 4 Elements of Emergency Preparedness for Medicare Providers and Suppliers

By Craig Long - August 4, 2017

Effective November 15, 2017, all Medicare providers and suppliers should have an emergency preparedness plan for natural as well as human-made disasters.

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