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.
The buzzword at the moment is plan. You can have a fantastic plan, but without having actionable solutions in place, you are not truly prepared.
Hurricane Katrina set an unfortunate example with no single resource offering information on at-risk individuals, whether homebound or in a facility. Displaced individuals needing medical care were unaccounted for – and many lost their lives. This is where Brightgray’s WatchPoint AtRisk Registry comes in.
Rules of Emergency Preparedness
Last year, a potentially lifesaving federal ruling determined all care providers must be compliant with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Emergency Preparedness standards, which require the adoption of a comprehensive disaster plan. The four core elements required by the Emergency Preparedness rule are:
- Risk Assessment and Planning- This includes evaluating hazards most likely for the geographic area, planning for care-related emergencies, power failure, supply loss and even building loss, including both shelter-in-place and evacuation planning.
- Communication Planning - This includes having a well-coordinated system in place within the facility, among other healthcare providers, state public health departments as well as emergency management agencies to contact physicians and other personnel with pertinent medical information regarding patients’ and staff status and location.
- Policies and Procedures - All policies set in place must be compliant with State and Federal Laws, including following HIPPA disclosure guidelines.
- Training and Testing - All training must be maintained and at a minimum updated annually.
Create a Plan for Communication
Brightgray’s WatchPoint AtRisk Registry has you covered for communication planning – regardless of your healthcare facility size. Up to date, real-time patient data stored in the WatchPoint AtRisk Registry provides critical information regarding patient medical needs and evacuation tracking, both before, during and after an emergency. It can be used by both inpatient and outpatient care providers, including hospitals, long term care facilities, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, home health agencies, ambulatory surgical centers, rehabilitation centers, and more.
Implementing WatchPoint AtRisk Registry takes your team to the next level. Your healthcare agency will go from having a well thought out plan to being truly prepared. Enjoy easy access to vulnerable patient population data, create customized reports for your organization’s needs, track evacuees, and automatically send updated information to local emergency management with consistent, real-time data.
This tool, which has been recognized by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals as “filling a critical need in the emergency operations planning and response” can help organizations move from being well-planned but still vulnerable, to prepared and ready to save lives.
Learn how WatchPoint AtRisk Registry can help streamline and simplify emergency preparedness.