Resources for Developing an Emergency Operations Plan

Last week, I shared a brief checklist for evaluating your hospital emergency operations plan and now, I’m here to share a couple of free resources with you to aid in this process.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services ASPR TRACIE
This website, which is free to join, is a great national resource for templates and more. They also have a feature section titled “Beyond the Response: Experiences from the Field” which details organizations’ responses to emergencies.

California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA)
This website provides multiple tools and templates to assist you with the emergency preparedness process. You can find editable Word documents that cover topics such as active shooter, infectious disease, missing persons, utility failure, and more.

If you would like more information regarding hospital emergency operations plans, please contact me at carrie.kotecki@complianceonegroup.com.

Emergency Management

Q: Regarding the new CMS rule on emergency preparedness, are they telling us that we must have full heating and cooling support for the entire hospital during a power outage up to and including adding more generators?

A: No… I don’t believe it is. Section 482.15 (b)(1)(ii)(A) says, “The hospital must develop and implement emergency preparedness policies and procedures … that must address temperatures to protect patient health and safety”. This does not say or mean that you need to add equipment to maintain temperatures (other than what the Life Safety code and NFPA 99 requires). It’s saying you must have a policy and a procedure that must address temperatures to protect the health and safety of patients.

So, your policies must reflect a plan on how you are going to accomplish this. If you lose fuel for the heating appliances, then what is your back-up plan? If you lose normal power and then emergency power, what is your back-up plan? Ultimately, your plan should recognize that you must evacuate the building if you can no longer maintain safe temperatures for your patients and staff.