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.
In a list of victims who had so far been identified, 20 of the 27 were above the age of 70, most of whom died in their homes. For the elderly, being on an at-risk registry could mean the difference between life and death in situations like the California wildfires.
Many people choose to, and are capable of, staying in their home throughout their golden years, but they rely on relatives or friends for transportation. As quickly as these wildfires spread, those who rely on others for transportation may not know in advance they need help.
Thousands of patients in care facilities had to be evacuated quickly due to the fast spreading wildfires. Hospitals were filling with smoke as patients were being moved. The fire was closing in so quickly that ambulances just started pulling away once patients were loaded without a specific destination. Cellular towers were impacted, limiting communication between emergency management and patient care facilities. The patients had no medicine. No oxygen tanks. No caregivers.
Hospitals, home health care agencies, inpatient and outpatient facilities, and many other patient care providers need an easier way to plan, prepare, communicate with local/state/federal emergency officials and execute their evacuation. This includes transportation, transfer of care and patient information, during emergency situations like the wildfires in California.
What is an At-Risk Patient?
At-risk patients are those that are vulnerable in emergency situations, such as wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, terrorist events, etc. These patients can be in care facilities, or be cared for in their own homes by care agencies
The benefits of an AtRisk Registry
A registry can help facilities notify local emergency management officials of patients that may need to be rescued, evacuated, or recovered during an emergency. These can be event-driven registries that are sent to local authorities in the face of an emergency or an active registry that is updated weekly and sent to local authorities for planning purposes.
How does it help in emergency preparedness?
Brightgray Solutions provides inpatient and outpatient healthcare entities, as well as government agencies, real-time information about patients, including location and medical needs. In turn, the WatchPoint AtRisk Patient Registry allows emergency personnel to update patient location and status, giving facilities up-to-date information on all those they are responsible for.
In an age when natural disasters seem to be happening with increasing frequency, WatchPoint AtRisk Registry has revolutionized the industry’s ability to track patients during disasters. The WatchPoint AtRisk Registry is a cloud-based program that can easily be accessed by different agencies.
The November 15th, 2017 deadline for compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services final ruling for emergency preparedness is fast approaching. Contact Brightgray Solutions to see how we can help you provide quality care for your patients, even in the event of an emergency.