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How Essential Are Emergency Management Reviews?

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Until recently, emergency management had become a quick session during an accreditation survey. The session evaluated standards and ensured you met them. Often, the process seemed repetitive because standards were the same, and grant money was limited, so there wasn’t much to talk about. It probably seemed like you were going through the motions to meet standards and not moving forward.

With recent events, we are reminded of how essential emergency management is within healthcare. Think about how far emergency management has come within the last 15 years. Ask yourself, if you did not do anything, or just the minimum, how prepared would you be now? Even though emergency management seemed ominous, current times prove that processes and training are helping facilities manage the current crisis.

Since emergency management has become a strong focus in facilities, it is essential that your emergency management process is reviewed to identify unforeseen issues. Additionally, this will be heavily focused on in upcoming accreditation surveys. It is time to review your process and look for shortcomings while still utilizing processes in place.

Here are my recommendations for reviewing your program:

  1. Approach this review in an annual review format. Your review should not be approached as a basic hot wash after a drill due to the amount of information you will be evaluating.  Approaching the report in this manner will allow you to use it as an annual review as well and minimize time.
  2. Utilize a third party for your review process. Having a third party involved allows a different set of eyes to see your facility from another vantage point. Operating under emergent circumstances for so long, shortfalls may have become the normal daily process due to repetition and not being identified.
  3. Speak with other members of your local coalition and ask what their process looks like. Try to identify exterior issues that affected your facility or others. This will also help refine and improve your community emergency management process.
  4. Ensure you are following updates from CMS and your accrediting agency. There will be changes in the future to emergency management. The focus of this area will become a longer session, maybe even two sessions devoted to specific topics.

Being proactive with emergency management now is going to help you once standards and changes start being made. As stated above, utilizing a third party to help you will reduce the amount of time you spend in this area. If interested in approaching your review in this manner, this is a perfect example of how we (Soleran) as a third party can help. Take a look at your program and see what we can do to help you with the arduous process to come.

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